Rockwell Parker


Assistant Professor
Year Started at JMU: 2015
Contact Info

Research Description

The Parker lab studies multiple facets of reptile reproduction: behavior, sex pheromones, gene expression, host-microbe interactions, and invasive species biology. Students learn a variety of techniques to address integrated questions across these research foci, such as how hormone manipulation changes pheromone composition, the role of chemical signals in mate searching in invasive species, and genes controlling sex pheromone production. The lab conducts intensive field and laboratory projects, including Honors theses, and works collaboratively.

  • Human Physiology (BIO 270)
  • Reproductive Physiology (BIO 426)
  • Advanced Topics in Cellular and Molecular Biology (BIO 630)
  • PhD in Zoology, 2010, Oregon State University
  • MS in Zoology, 2004, Washington State University
  • BS in Zoology, 2002, University of Arkansas


Select Publications
  • Parker, M.R. and Mason, R.T., 2012. How to make a sexy snake: estrogen activation of female sex pheromone in male red-sided garter snakes. Journal of Experimental Biology, 215(5), pp.723-730.
  • Ashton, S.E., Vernasco, B.J., Moore, I.T. and Parker, M.R., 2018. Sex and seasonal differences in mRNA expression of estrogen receptor α (ESR1) in red-sided garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis). General and Comparative Endocrinology, 267, pp.59-65.
  • Richard, S.A., Tillman, E.A., Humphrey, J.S., Avery, M.L. and Parker, M.R., 2019. Male Burmese pythons follow female scent trails and show sex‐specific behaviors. Integrative zoology, 14(5), pp.460-469.

Back to Top