With his most recent book, Mammalogy Techniques Lab Manual, published this fall by Johns Hopkins University Press, Professor of Biology James Ryan offers student-scientists a guide to practical techniques used by researchers in the field. The book builds on techniques that Ryan uses in his field courses.
The book is “the only field manual devoted to training the next generation of mammalogists,” as the publisher notes, “[detailing] the modern research techniques today’s professionals use to study mammals wherever they are found….Ideal for any mammalogy or wildlife biology course, this clear and practical guide aids students by getting them outside to study mammals in their natural environments.”
Spanning a broad range of topics — from DNA extraction to GPS tracking — the book’s 20 chapters include thorough exercises that challenge students to collect and analyze their own data, as well as downloadable sample data sets to supplement fieldwork, ample background information and descriptions of other valuable resources.
Ryan, who joined the HWS faculty in 1987, is the coauthor of several books and many publications, including the text, Mammalogy, which is now in its sixth edition, and Adirondack Wildlife: A Field Guide.
His research focuses primarily on mammalian biodiversity of African small mammals. He worked for several years in the rainforest of Madagascar surveying small mammal communities and primates. He also served as team leader for the Ghana Coastal Wetlands Management Project which established a series of long-term biodiversity monitoring sites in Ghana, West Africa. In 2001, he studied the rare hero shrew in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest of Southern Uganda on a National Geographic Grant. His current research uses microCT scanning technology to study embryonic development in bats.
Ryan teaches courses in vertebrate biology, neurobiology and anatomy. He also worked with HWS Trustee Dr. Jeremy Cushman ’96 on “iAnatomy,” an eBook comprised of 20 case-based, interactive exercises that reinforce human anatomy and physiology concepts while engaging readers with the clinical relevance of anatomical details.
Ryan earned his Ph.D. from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst; an M.S. from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and a B.A. from The State University of New York at Oswego.