THERYA, 2021, Vol. 12 (2): 163-169 DOI: 10.12933/therya-21-1125 ISSN 2007-3364
Issue dedicated to David J. Schmidly, Ph.D., in recognition of his contributions to mammalogy in México
In May 2020, we were invited by Dr. Sergio Ticul Álvarez–Castañeda, editor of Therya, to serve as guest editors of the May 2021 issue to be published in recognition of Dr. David J. Schmidly’s many contributions to mammalogical research in México and his involvement with and support of the Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología A. C. (aka the “Mexican Society of Mammalogists”). Accepting this role was an honor and privilege, and we enthusiastically supported the idea for this honorary issue, for a number of reasons. First, Dr. Schmidly (Figure 1a, b) spent a significant portion of his research career, beginning with his first trip to México in 1968 as a Master’s student at Texas Tech University, and continuing to this day, studying the systematics and natural history of Mexican mammals and he has contributed significantly to the scientific literature in that context. He has published extensively on the mammalian fauna of México; several of these studies are mentioned herein. Second, Dr. Schmidly has been instrumental in the lives and professional careers of many students of Mexican mammalogy, whether they were citizens of México or the United States. Through personal interest and friendship, Dr. Schmidly encouraged a cohort of undergraduates to seriously contemplate a professional career in mammalogy. Many of those who heeded Dr. Schmidly’s encouragement would become the “movers and shakers” that generated an explosion in Mexican mammalogy and followed in the footsteps of preeminent Mexican mammalogists such as Drs. Bernardo Villa, Ticul Álvarez, and José Ramírez-Pulido. Third, Dr. Schmidly was instrumental in helping to encourage a group of young, enthusiastic, and forward-thinking mammalogists to establish the Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología AC. We discuss this topic in more detail later in this paper.
Finally, from a personal standpoint, both of us have had a long-term association with Dr. Schmidly that would not have been developed if not for Dr. Schmidly’s interests in mammalogy of México and the adjacent area to the north, aka Texas. Robert was recruited as a Master’s student from Dr. Schmidly’s mammalogy class at Texas A&M University and conducted his thesis work in 1983–1986, working on a taxonomic revision of Mexican populations of the Peromyscus boylii species complex. That experience provided Robert with the opportunity to conduct extensive fieldwork in México. This began a long-term friendship and scientific collaboration with Dr. Schmidly, resulting in several research endeavors on Mexican Peromyscus that continue to this day. Lisa began working for Dr. Schmidly in 1992, as an editorial assistant on Texas Natural History: A Century of Change as well as the fifth, sixth, and seventh editions of The Mammals of Texas. Further, beyond being colleagues and collaborators, we both count Dr. Schmidly and his wife Janet as two of our dearest friends. So for us, agreeing to help with this honorary volume was an easy path toward saying “thank you” to Dr. Schmidly for his many contributions to mammalogy in México and the influence he has had on our lives!
Contributions to Education and the Science of Mammalogy in México
Students Influenced. In our opinion, perhaps the greatest contribution that Dr. Schmidly has made to Mexican mammalogy has been his influence and impact on young biologists. As a young professor at Texas A&M University, Dr. Schmidly began taking field biology classes to México in the mid-1970s, many with the famous herpetologist Dr. James Dixon. During the early 1980s, Dr. Schmidly, along with Drs. Ira F. Greenbaum and C. William Kilpatrick, received a National Science Foundation grant to study the systematics of the Peromyscus boylii species complex (Figure 2). This project entailed several extended field trips throughout México to collect research material for morphometric, karyotypic, and allozymic studies. During many of these trips, undergraduate students —primarily several students that were affiliated with Dr. José Ramirez-Pulido and the mammal collections at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) (Figure 3)— participated in collecting specimens, karyotyping, obtaining tissues, and preparing vouchers. Dr. Schmidly befriended many of these budding young mammalogists and encouraged them to pursue graduate degrees, whether it be in the United States or México. Several of the students that participated in these trips, including Gerardo Ceballos, Rodrigo Medellín, Livia León-Paniagua, Víctor Sánchez-Cordero, Aurora Alondra Castro-Campillo, and the late Daniel Navarro-López, became outstanding researchers of Mexican mammals in their own right. Further, several also were involved in the early stages of developing the Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología A. C. (see below). Later, during Dr. Schmidly’s terms as President at Texas Tech University and then at Oklahoma State University, he developed partnerships with several universities in México and encouraged a new generation of Mexican students to pursue mammalogical research, such as Irene Tiemann-Boege, who received her Master’s degree with RDB at Texas Tech University and is now an Associate Professor at Johannes Kepler University in Austria. Further, Dr. Schmidly has a wonderful ability to connect with students and he never fails to show interest in their research. For example, it was not uncommon at the annual meetings of the American Society of Mammalogists and the Association of Southwestern Naturalists to see Dr. Schmidly enthusiastically discussing systematics or natural history of Mexican mammals with a young student from México. Dr. Schmidly had the uncanny ability to make students feel special and that their research was significant and of personal interest to him. These interactions gave students confidence in their abilities as young mammalogists.
Although the focus of this paper pertains to Dr. Schmidly’s contributions to mammalogy in México, it must be stated that this devotion to and love of the mammalian fauna of México had an impact on students north of the border, as well. No fewer than 20 graduate students at Texas A&M University “cut their teeth” on field mammalogy as a result of Dr. Schmidly’s field trips to México (Figure 4). Whether it was conducting mammalogical surveys along the Rio Grande drainage and the mountains of San Carlos, Tamaulipas, pursuing Peromyscus hooperi in Coahuila and Zacatecas, or collecting Peromyscus in the pine-oak forests throughout México’s many montane regions, Dr. Schmidly’s students received the hands-on training in taxonomy and natural history that would form the basis of their professional careers. Further, this extensive field project provided Schmidly’s graduate students with an opportunity to develop long-lasting friendships with that cadre of fellow students from México (Figure 5).
Papers Devoted to Mammals of México. In perusing Dr. Schmidly’s curriculum vitae, it appears that, to date, he has published at least 49 scientific papers pertaining directly to mammals occurring in México. In addition, he has published papers on mammals of the southwestern United States whose distributions include México, and there are other papers pertaining to the Rio Grande Corridor or the Gulf of México (marine mammals) that would be pertinent to studies of mammalogy in México, but these were not included in the 49 total papers mentioned above. The majority of these papers pertain to systematics, natural history, and distributional information, and they have contributed significantly to the knowledge of the mammalian fauna of México. Specifically, Dr. Schmidly has published numerous papers on the systematics of Peromyscus, and he is recognized as an authority on several of these species groups, such as the P. boylii and P. truei complexes.
Impact on Mexican Mammal Taxonomy. As mentioned above, Dr. Schmidly’s expertise in rodent systematics is widely known and demonstrated by his many published scientific articles. During his career, he has authored or coauthored manuscripts resulting in numerous taxonomic revisions for Mexican mammals. New taxa that occur in México that Dr. Schmidly has described with coauthors include: Peromyscus hooperi (Lee and Schmidly 1977); Antrozous pallidus packardi (Martin and Schmidly 1982); Peromyscus carletoni (Bradley et al. 2014); Peromyscus pectoralis zimmermani (Bradley et al. 2015); and Peromyscus kilpatricki (Bradley et al. 2017). Species elevated from subspecies status include Peromyscus beatae from P. boylii beatae (Schmidly et al. 1988), Peromyscus levipes from P. boylii levipes (Schmidly et al. 1988), and Peromyscus laceianus from P. pectoralis laceianus (Bradley et al. 2015). In addition, Peromyscus sagax was elevated from synonomy with P. boylii levipes, in part (Bradley et al. 1996).
Other revisions by Schmidly and colleagues to the taxonomic status of Mexican mammals include: Dipodomys ordii compactus to Dipodomys compactus, D. compactus largus to D. compactus compactus, D. compactus parvabullatus to D. compactus compactus, and D. ordii durranti to D. ordii obscurus (Schmidly and Hendricks 1976; Baumgardner and Schmidly 1981); Scalopus inflatus to S. aquaticus inflatus and Scalopus montanus to S. aquaticus montanus (Yates and Schmidly 1977); Antrozous pallidus cantwelli to A. p. pallidus, and Antrozous pallidus obscurus to A. p. pallidus (Martin and Schmidly 1982); Heteromys temporalis to H. desmarestianus temporalis, Heteromys longicaudus to H. desmarestianus longicaudus, and Heteromys goldmani lepturus to H. desmarestianus lepturus (Rogers and Schmidly 1982); P. boylii ambiguus to P. levipes ambiguus (Castro-Campillo et al. 1999); and P. boylii sacarensis to P. beatae sacarensis (Bradley et al. 2000). In recognition of his contributions to systematics and taxonomy, Dr. Schmidly has been honored by his colleagues with two patronyms of Mexican mammals: Peromyscus schmidlyi (Bradley et al. 2004) and Habromys schmidlyi (León-Paniagua et al. 1993).
Establishment of and Service to the Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología. Dr. Schmidly was instrumental in encouraging young Mexican mammalogists to create a society for the study of Mexican mammals, using the format of the American Society of Mammalogists as a guide. Below is an excerpt (translated to English) of the article by Juan Pablo Gallo-Reynoso (2014) that summarizes the organization of the Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología. We took the liberty to highlight (in bold) mammalogists who at the time were graduate or postdoctoral students that had attended field trips with Dr. Schmidly in the early 1980s.
"In 1983, a group of students met by chance of fate in the Mammozoology Laboratory of the Institute of Biology, some with interests in bats, others in rodents, others in aquatic mammals, some more in ecology, others in taxonomy, or paleontology; we formed a network of acquaintances that eventually formed a critical mass. We were graduates of the Faculty of Sciences of the UNAM, of the UAM (Metropolitan Autonomous University) Iztapalapa and Xochimilco, of the INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History) and of other universities, so we got together: Alondra Castro, Esther Romo, Livia León, María Canela, Rosario Manzanos, Silvia Manzanilla; Álvaro Miranda, Federico Romero, Héctor Arita, Hiram Barrios, Juan Carlos Morales, Juan Pablo Gallo, Rodrigo Medellín; some still students, others already graduated, some were in postgraduate studies abroad such as Daniel Navarro, Fernando Cervantes, Gerardo Ceballos and Víctor Sánchez Cordero; others pursuing postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Sciences. From all of us came the firm proposal to go forward, to found the Mexican Association of Mammozoology, why not?"
Further, Dr. Schmidly helped host and organize the Joint International Meeting between the American Society of Mammalogists and Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología, in Cancun, Quintana Roo, México, in 1987. Dr. Schmidly and Michael Mares edited a proceedings of many of the important papers presented at that joint conference, entitled “Latin American Mammalogy: History, Biodiversity, and Conservation”, that was published in 1991 (Mares and Schmidly 1991). Dr. Schmidly also served as Associate Editor for Revista Mexicana de Mastozoología, the journal of the Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología, from 1990 to 1991.
Honors and Recognitions from the Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología and Other Institutions in México. Dr. Schmidly’s contributions to mammalogy and education in México have been identified and acknowledged by several scientific and civic organizations. First, from a professional mammalogical standpoint, Dr. Schmidly was recognized by the Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología in 2010 with the presentation of the prestigious Ticul Álvarez Solorzano Award. Dr. Schmidly was the second winner of this award, which is the highest distinction awarded by the society, in recognition of his professional career, his impact on Mexican mammalogy, and the training of professionals with the highest standards in México. Second, over the course of his professional and academic career, Dr. Schmidly has received special recognition for his efforts to form collaborations between multiple universities and cities in México and the United States. For example, he was: appointed as Maestro Emerito (Professor Emeritus), Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP), México, for establishing a series of joint degrees between Oklahoma State University and Mexican institutions in the Puebla region; appointed as Visiting Professor at the Universidad de las Americas, Cholullo, Puebla, México, and invited to teach a natural history course on mammals in the biology department; designated as Vistante Distinguido by the city of Puebla, México; and granted Diplomas of Recognition from universities in Guadalajara and Tamaulipas, México.
Organization of Contributions to this Honorary Issue
For this honorary issue, we received 17 contributions from 67 authors. Based on the scientific content of each contribution, we organized this issue into four categories: Editorial, Conservation, Natural History, and Systematics and Taxonomy. Interestingly, Dr. Schmidly’s major scientific contributions are in the disciplines of conservation, natural history, and systematics. Below, we list the categories, contribution titles, and authors of these articles.
Issue Dedicated to David J. Schmidly, Ph.D., in Recognition of his Contributions to Mammalogy in México, by Robert D. Bradley and Lisa C. Bradley.
Neither Stable nor Pristine: American Bison Populations Were Long Influenced by Humans, by James H. Shaw.
Modern Extirpation of the Texas Kangaroo Rat, Dipodomys elator, in Oklahoma: Changing Land Use and Climate Over a Century of Time as the Road to Eventual Extinction, by Janet K. Braun, Brandi S. Coyner, and Michael A. Mares.
Vaquita: Beleaguered Porpoise of the Gulf of California, México, by Bernd Würsig, Thomas A. Jefferson, Gregory K. Silber, and Randall S. Wells.
Seasonal Use of Bridges as Day-roosts by Bats in the Trans-Pecos of Texas, by Richard D. Stevens, Carlos J. Garcia, Emma E. Guest, Austin Hargrove, Macy A. Krishnamoorthy, Carl F. Rickert, Emma M. Sanchez, Erin E. Stukenholtz, Colton A. Triplett, Holly Wilson, and Stirling J. Robertson.
An Overview of the Mammals of the Gila Region, New Mexico, by Amanda K. Jones, Schuyler W. Liphardt, Jonathan L. Dunnum, Travis W. Perry, Jason Malaney, and Joseph A. Cook.
Diversity and Activity Patterns of Medium- and Large-sized Terrestrial Mammals at the Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve, Mexico, by Jesús Alejandro Ríos-Solís, José Juan Flores-Martínez, Víctor Sánchez-Cordero, and Mario C. Lavariega.
Sometimes I See Spots: Patterns of Abundance and Distribution of the Bobcat (Lynx rufus) in Different Regions of Mexico, by Horacio V. Bárcenas and Rodrigo A. Medellín.
Systematics and Taxonomy
Morphological and Genetic Variation of Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) Populations Separated by Rivers, by Consuelo Lorenzo, Maricela García-Bautista, Coral Rosas-Ronzón, Sergio Ticul Álvarez-Castañeda, and David E. Brown.
Revision of Moles in the Genus Scapanus, by Sergio Ticul Álvarez-Castañeda and Patricia Cortes Calva.
On the Utility of Taxonomy to Reflect Biodiversity: The Example of Lasiurini (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae), by Amy B. Baird, Janet K. Braun, Mark D. Engstrom, Burton K. Lim, Michael A. Mares, John C. Patton, and John W. Bickham.
About the Specific Status of Baiomys musculus and B. brunneus, by Giovani Hernández-Canchola and Livia León-Paniagua.
Evidence of Differential Genetic Introgression at Multiple Localities between Neotoma floridana and N. micropus, by Sarah C. Vrla, Matthew R. Mauldin, Michelle L. Haynie, and Robert D. Bradley.
Chromosomal relationships among the native rodents (Cricetidae: Oryzomyini) of the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, by Robert C. Dowler and Marcia A. Revelez.
A Re-examination of the Molecular Systematics and Phylogeography of Taxa of the Peromyscus aztecus Species Group, with Comments on the Distribution of P. winkelmanni, by C. William Kilpatrick, Nelish Pradhan, and Ryan W. Norris.
Rejection of the Monotypic Status of Peromyscus furvus (Rodentia, Cricetidae), with Consequences for its Species Group, by Alejandro Cruz-Gómez, Alondra Castro-Campillo, Zamira A. Ávila-Valle, Livia León-Paniagua, Marcia Ramírez-Sánchez, and José Ramírez-Pulido.
Morphological Differentiation of Peromyscus leucopus and P. maniculatus in East Texas, by Jessica E. Light, Leila Siciliano-Martina, Emma G. Dohlanik, Grace Vielleux, David J. Hafner, A. Michelle Lawing, and Ira F. Greenbaum.
Dr. Schmidly has had a long-term connection to both the mammals and the people of México. He began collecting and studying the mammals of México beginning in 1968 with Dr. Robert Packard at Texas Tech University, and his interest in the mammalian fauna of México intensified during his research for his PhD at the University of Illinois with Drs. Donald Hoffmeister and Raymond Lee. The impact of those early trips to México were a profound influence on the career of that young mammalogist, and they formed the foundation of his professional career at Texas A&M University, through three stints as university president (Texas Tech University, Oklahoma State University, and University of New Mexico), and continues to this day. Although his systematic and natural history studies of mammals in México represent significant contributions to Mexican mammalogy, perhaps his influence on the students of Mexican mammalogy represents his great contribution. From all of us who benefited from Dr. Schmidly’s vast mammalogical knowledge, mentorship, research opportunities, and personal friendship, we dedicate this issue to his legacy. Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the many individuals who contributed to this honorary issue of Therya. This project would not have been possible without: 1) the high-quality manuscripts enthusiastically contributed by friends and colleagues of Dr. Schmidly, 2) the incredible responses by numerous individuals who agreed to review the submitted manuscripts in a timely fashion, and in some cases with extraordinary turn-around, and 3) Sergio Ticul Álvarez–Castañeda, not only for inviting us to serve as Guest Editors but especially for his vision for this issue of Therya and for coordinating and spear-heading this endeavor.
Robert D. Bradley1* and Lisa C. Bradley2
1 Department of Biological Sciences and Natural Science Research Laboratory, Museum, Box 43131, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, 79409, U.S.A. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 Natural Science Research Laboratory, Museum, Box 43191, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, 79409, U.S.A. Email: email@example.com.
Baumgardner, G. D., and D. J. Schmidly. 1981. Systematics of the southern races of two species of kangaroo rats (Dipodomys compactus and D. ordii). Occasional Papers, Museum of Texas Tech University 73:1–27.
Bradley, R. D., N. Ordoñez-Garza, G. Ceballos, D. S. Rogers, and D. J. Schmidly. 2017. A new species in the Peromyscus boylii species group (Cricetidae: Neotominae) from Michoacan, Mexico. Journal of Mammalogy 98:154–165.
Bradley, R. D., N. Ordoñez-Garza, C. G. Sotero-Caio, H. M. Huynh, C. W. Kilpartrick, I. Eniquez-Davalos, and D. J. Schmidly. 2014. Morphometrics, karyotypic, and molecular evidence for a new species of Peromyscus (Cricetidae: Neotominae) from Nayarit, Mexico. Journal of Mammalogy 95:176–186.
Bradley, R. D., D. J. Schmidly, B. R. Amman, R. N. Platt II, K. M. Neumann, H. W. Huynh, R Muniz-Martinoz, C. López-Gonzalez, and N. Ordoñez-Garza. 2015. Molecular and morphological data reveal multiple species in Peromyscus pectoralis. Journal of Mammalogy 96:446–459.
Bradley, R. D., D. J. Schmidly, and C. W. Kilpatrick. 1996. The relationships of Peromyscus sagax to the P. boylii and P. truei species groups in Mexico based on morphometric, karyotypic, and allozymic data. Pp. 95–106, in Contributions in Mammalogy: A Memorial Volume Honoring Dr. J. Knox Jones, Jr. (Genoways, H. H., and R. J. Baker, eds.). Museum of Texas Tech University. Lubbock, U.S.A.
Castro-Campillo, A. A., H. R. Roberts, D. J. Schmidly, and R. D. Bradley. 1999. Systematic status of Peromyscus boylii ambiguus based on morphological and molecular data. Journal of Mammalogy 80:1214–1231.
Gallo-Reynoso, J. P. 2014. La Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología, A.C., Nuestra querida AMMAC, Palabras dichas en conmemoración de los 30 años de la AMMAC, el 31de Octubre de 2014. Therya 5:695-699.
León-Paniagua, L., and E. Romo-Vázquez. 1993. Mastofauna de la Sierra de Taxco, Guerrero. Pp. 45–64, in Avances en el Estudio de los Mamíferos de México (Medellín, R. A., and G. Ceballos, eds.). Publicaciones Especiales No. I, Asociacion Mexicana de Mastozoologia, A. C., Ciudad de México, México.
Rogers, D. S., and D. J. Schmidly. 1982. Systematics of spiny pocket mice (genus Heteromys) of the desmarestianus species group from Mexico and northern Central America. Journal of Mammalogy 63:375–386.
Schmidly, D. J., R. D. Bradley, and P. S. Cato. 1988. Morphometric differentiation and taxonomy of three chromosomally characterized groups of Peromyscus boylii from east-central Mexico. Journal of Mammalogy 69:462–480.
Figure 1. David Schmidly in the field in Mexico, 1984, sporting his typical field attire (left). David Schmidly examining Peromyscus in the Mammal Collection of the Natural Science Research Laboratory, Texas Tech University, 2016 (right).
Figure 2. David Schmidly with students and faculty at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, ca. 1982, during NSF-funded work on the Peromyscus boylii species group in Mexico. Left to right: Timothy Houseal, Juan Carlos Morales, Kathy Davis, Ira Greenbaum (front), Federico Romero (behind Greenbaum), Luis Miguel Mota (behind Federico), Steve Smith, Gerardo Ceballos (front), Rodrigo Medellín (behind Gerardo), David Schmidly, Livia León-Paniagua, Jan Ensink, Esther Romo-Vázquez, and Laurel Treviño Murphy.
Figure 3. David Schmidly with a group of students, many affiliated with Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, ca. 1982. First line: María Canela, Víctor Sánchez-Cordero, Gerardo Ceballos, Daniel Navarro, David Schmidly, Livia León, Héctor Arita. Second lines: Rosario Manzanos, Lena Paula Urrutia, Alondra Castro, Juan Carlos Morales, Álvaro Miranda, Francisco Sour, Sara Quiroz, Miguel Mártinez Ramos, Jesús Maldonado.
Figure 4. David Schmidly and students from the United States and México in Patzcuaro, Michoacán, in July 1983. Left to right: Jan Ensink, Timothy Houseal, Steve Smith, Robert Bradley, Gerardo Ceballos, David Schmidly, Scott Kilpatrick, Marc Allard, Alvaro Dávila, Juan Carlos Morales, Kathy Davis, Livia León-Paniagua, Esther Romo-Vázquez. Photo by C. William Kilpatrick, whose son Scott is in the photo.
Figure 5. American and Mexican students at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, July 1983. Front, left to right: Kathy Davis, Livia León-Paniagua, Federico Romero, Esther Romo-Vázquez, Jan Ensink. Back, left to right: Steve Smith, Marc Allard, Robert Bradley.
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THERYA es publicada por la Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología A. C. Se distribuye bajo una Licencia de Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivar 4.0 Internacional.
DERECHOS DE AUTOR Y DERECHOS CONEXOS, THERYA es una publicación digital cuatrimestral editada por la Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología A. C. Hacienda Vista Hermosa 107, Colonia Villa Quietud, Coyoacan 04960. Distrito Federal, México. Telefono (612) 123-8486, www.mastozoologiamexicana.org. Editor responsable: Dr. Sergio Ticul Álvarez Castañeda (firstname.lastname@example.org). Reservas de Derechos al Uso Exclusivo No. 04-2009-112812171700-102, ISSN: 2007-3364 ambos otorgados por el Instituto Nacional de Derechos de Autor. Responsable de la última actualización de este número, Unidad de informática de la Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología A. C. Dr. Sergio Ticul Álvarez Castañeda. Instituto Politécnico Nacional 195. La Paz, Baja California Sur, C. P. 23096. Tel 612 123 8486.