Dr. Peter Lindeman, professor of biology and herpetology and program director for the Master of Science in Biology at Edinboro University, will see the fruition of a decade-long project when his book, “The Map Turtle and Sawback Atlas: Ecology, Evolution, Distribution and Conservation,” is published by University of Oklahoma Press on Dec. 20.
“I’m sitting back waiting for a hard copy to arrive next month, at long last,” Lindeman said. “My book is an integrated summary of the state of biological knowledge regarding the map turtle and sawback genus (Graptemys), with an emphasis on the future research that will deepen our understanding of their ecology, evolution and conservation needs.”
“These remarkable turtles exhibit an outstanding and rapid diversification, exceptional size differences between the sexes, a high degree of morphological variation tied to dietary diversification, and an unparalleled drive to sun themselves,” he continued. “Unfortunately, population declines have caused several species to be of conservation concern.”
Lindeman’s extensive research work for “The Map Turtle and Sawback Atlas” involved visits to and correspondence with several natural history museums, preparation of detailed range maps for each of the species, photographic expeditions to the natural habitats of all species – from Georgia and the Florida panhandle to Texas, South Dakota and Presque Isle State Park in Pennsylvania – and much more, in addition to the writing and revising that come with publishing a 488-page tome.
“For the past few years I’ve attended national and international conferences in herpetology (a branch of zoology concerned with the study of amphibians and reptiles) to present the field research I do on map turtles and sawbacks,” said Lindeman. “So I’ve had a lot of opportunity to update my colleagues on the progress of the book and whet their appetite for it, and I think anticipation is high.”
All proceeds from sales of the book will go to the Chelonian Research Foundation to support turtle research and conservation efforts around the world.
An Oklahoma City native, Lindeman began his research on freshwater turtle ecology, evolution, life history and conservation while working toward his Master of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Idaho in 1988, and began to emphasize studies of map turtles and sawbacks shortly after moving to Kentucky in 1989. He earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Biology in a joint program of Murray State University and the University of Louisville in 1997, and has been a professor of biology at Edinboro University since 1999.
Lindeman has written 39 peer-reviewed articles on turtle biology and has carried out field studies of turtle populations in Idaho, Washington, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, Alabama and Oklahoma.