I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biology at Texas State University . My major interests include the conservation, ecology, and systematics of amphibians; with an emphasis on the effects of anthropogenic disturbance to amphibian diversity and abundance in tropical rainforests. Primarily, I utilize members of the direct-developing anuran genus Pristimantis and characteristics of their microhabitat specialization to address these interests.

Currently, my research focuses on the effects of deforestation to canopy inhabiting herpetofauna and microclimate in Amazonian Ecuador, with a concentration on epiphytic canopy tank bromeliads. I am also exploring the use of molecular techniques to examine for ecological diversification (vertical niche partitioning) in the Pristimantis genus.

Canopy tank bromeliads as a keystone resource has also caught my interest after I began working in the rainforest canopy.

As a postdoc in the lab of Dr. Michael Forstner I am working on different ecological aspects of the endangered Houston toad (Bufo (Anaxayrus) houstonensis). These include anthropogenic and catastrophic wildfire impacts to disjunct populations as well as range-wide automated call surveys to evaluate detection probability and population size.


I am Founder and Executive Director of the TADPOLE Organization - a non-profit organization dedicated to informing and educating the public regarding our obligation to protect and preserve the Amazon's amphibian species.


Rebuilding this site as of Jan. 5, 2014. Please contact me via email with any questions.

Thanks, Shawn














Shawn F. McCracken


Aquatic Resources Ph.D. Program

Department of Biology

Texas State University



Executive Director/Founder

TADPOLE Organization


Last updated January 13, 2014