About Dr. Tupper

Me enthralled with an Eastern Diamondback. Kirk found this after I had given up.

I’m a professor of biology at NOVA, affiliate faculty at George Mason University, and a volunteer at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. I’m a big fan of reptiles and amphibians and I usually spend a good amount of time in the summer with one of my favorite people (Professor Kirk Goolsby) stomping around the southeast learning as much natural history as I can. I generally teach biology 1 and 2,  zoology, and sometimes biostatistics.

Having graduated from a community college, I have a deep appreciation for their role in the community. I held on to that appreciation throughout my years as an undergraduate and graduate student. Now, over 20 years later, I am even more grateful for the community college system. NOVA has provided me with a wonderful career, supported my interests in ecology, and has introduced me to students and colleagues that have enriched my life in many ways. I find NOVA be a truly unique community college because there is great camaraderie among the faculty, and a large cohort of highly motivated students from across the globe.

One of the many interesting aspects about the biology department at NOVA is that (with the help of our colleagues, especially Robert Aguilar) Drs. Fernandez, Bozarth, and I have been able to put together somewhat of an informal research program. Over the years we have worked with the Fairfax County Park Authority, George Mason University, Cape Cod National Seashore, the National Zoo, and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center to create independent study opportunities for students that help prepare them for higher-level study in biology (here’s a small piece about egg mass counts involving two former NOVA students). Interestingly enough, some of these projects have resulted in published works. Below is a list of some of our endeavors:


Fuchs LD, Tupper TA, et al. In progress.  Variables influencing occurrence of Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in sqamatids of the Mid-Atlantic, USA.

Shaffer DL, Tupper TA, Aguilar R, Fuchs LD. In progress.  Population genetic structure of red-spotted newt (Notopthalamus v. viridescens) in Virginia.

Fuchs LD,  Tupper TA, Aguilar R, Lorentz EB, Bozarth CA, Fernandez DJ, Lawlor DM. 2020. An investigation of snake fungal disease at two natural areas in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and Fairfax County, Virginia, USA. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 14:21-28.

Fuchs LD, Tupper TA, Bozarth CA, Fernandez D, Aguilar R. 2018. An investigation of co-occurrence by Ranavirus (FV-3) and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis  in anurans of two natural areas in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and Fairfax County, Virginia, USA. Catesbeiana 38:45-54.

Jones KS, Tupper TA. 2017. Aspects of Eastern Wormsnake (Carphophis amoenus) microhabitats at two natural Areas in Fairfax County, Virginia, and Anne Arundel County, Maryland.  Catesbeiana 37:99-108

Tupper TA,  Fuchs L, Love C,  Aguilar R, Bozarth C, Fernandez D. 2017. Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in anurans at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia, USA.  Catesbeiana 37:109-120

Fuchs LD, Tupper TA, Sepahpur T, Aguilar R, Bozarth CA. 2017. Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in anurans at  the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Maryland, USA. Catesbeiana 37:32-39.

Tupper TA, Aguilar R, Sepahpur T, Hay C, Ebrahimi S.  2016. A survey of Amphibians at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Banisteria 46:12-24.

Tupper TA, Andrews KM. 2015. Wildlife Alert: The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. In: S. A. Miller and J. P. Harley (eds.), Zoology, 10th Ed. McGraw Hill Education, New York, NY.

Jones KS, Tupper TA. 2015.  Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyris fowleri) occupancy in the southern mid-Atlantic, USA. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 9:24-33.

Tupper TA,  Bozarth C, Jones K, Cook R. 2014. Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the eastern spadefoot toad (Scaphiopus h. hollbrookii) at Cape Cod National Seashore, USA. Herpetological Review 45:445-447

Tupper TA, Galitzin T, Bozarth CA, Lawlor DM. 2012. Patterns of frog and toad vocalization in Fairfax County, Virginia. Banisteria 39: 34-46.

Tupper TA, Streicher J,  Greenspan S, Timm BC, Cook RP. 2011.  Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in anurans of Cape Cod National Seashore, USA. Herpetological Review 42: 61-65.

Cook RP,  Tupper TA, Paton PWC, Timm BC.  2011. Effects of temperature and temporal factors on anuran detection probabilities at Cape Cod National Seashore: Implications for long-term monitoring. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 6:25-39

Tupper TA, McLean MD,  Buchanan S. 2009. Oviposition in  northern clade B. fowleri: implications for conservation. Applied Herpetology 6: 343-353.

Tupper TA, Cook RP.  2008. Habitat variables influencing breeding effort in northern clade Bufo fowleri: implications for conservation. Applied Herpetology 5:101-119.

Tupper TA, Cook RP, Timm BC, Goodstine A. 2007. Improving call surveys for detecting the Fowler’s toad, Bufo fowleri, in Southern New England, USA. Applied Herpetology. 4: 245-259.


Hay CA, Fuchs LD, Tupper TA. In prep. Snake fungal disease associated mortality in Coluber constrictor and Storeria dekayi in Northern Virginia, USA. Catesbeiana 0:00.

Fuchs LD, Tupper TA, Hay CC.  In review. Snake fungal disease in Pantherophis alleghaniensis: pre and post-molt status. Catesbeiana 0:00.

Tupper TA, Fuchs LD, Aguilar R. 2019. Molecular confirmation of Ophiodiomyces  ophiodiicola in Crotalus horridus and Agkistrodon contortrix (Alegany County, Maryland and Rappahannock County, Virginia). Catesbeiana 39:35-37.

Tupper TA, Aguilar R, Fuchs L.  2018. Molecular confirmation of snake fungal disease in Nerodia sipedon in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Catesbeiana 38:78-79.

Wilkinson EL, Tupper TA. 2017. Diadophis punctatus edwardsii ectoparasitism.  VA. York County. Catesbeiana. 37:130-131.

Tupper TA, Aguilar R, Fuchs LD, Shaffer DL.  2017 Snake fungal disease in Crotalus horridus MDAllegany County. Catesbeiana 37:128-130.

Tupper TA, Aguilar R. 2015. Lithobates sylvaticus (wood frog) cannibalism. Herpetological Review 46:414.

Tupper TA, Aguilar R, Ferrara A, Hay C. 2015. Observations of snake fungal disease in Nerodia sipedon in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Catesbeiana 35:37.

Streicher JW, Tupper TA. 2012. Eurycea bislineata (multifocal skin lesions). Catesbeiana 32: 39-40.

Tupper TA, Adams LB, Timm BC.  2009. Bufo fowleri diet.  Herpetological Review 40: 200-201.

Paton PWC, Timm BC, Tupper TA. 2003. Monitoring pond breeding amphibians. Long-term coastal monitoring protocol at Cape Cod National Seashore, p. 113. National Park Service. Wellfleet, Massachusetts.


Miller SA, Tupper TA. 2023. Zoology, 12th edition. McGraw Hill, New York, New York. (in progress).

Miller SA, Tupper TA. 2019. Zoology, 11th edition. McGraw Hill, New York, New York. p. 616. ISBN 978-1-259-99002-5.