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Dr. Shem Unger

Title(s)
Assistant Professor, Biology
Location(s)
Wingate
Department(s)
Biology

Contact Information

Email
(Primary)
Office Phone
704-233-6480
Location
Bridges

Education

Degree(s)
PhD, Wildlife Genetics, Purdue University 2013

Biography

Biography

I currently teach Organismal Biology, Herpetology, Seminar, Animal Behavior, and Evolution courses within the Biology Department. I oversee the Wingate Herpetology Laboratory, and mentor undergraduate students on directed research projects, and advise the Wingate Wildlife Club & Ukes in Motion student organizations. Moreover, I impact local communities through science outreach programs which involve undergraduate service, primarily by bringing snakes to local schools, events, and festivals.

Employed Since
2015

Research

Research

My current research involves collaborative assessment of occupancy modeling and life history of larval eastern hellbenders in North Carolina, in addition to several projects which directly involve undergraduates. These projects involve macroinvertebrate communities, forensic entomology, lizard mark-recapture, use of smartphones to study bats, drones and turtles, scavenging ecology, and turtle basking biology. I work closely with these biology undergraduates to develop research ideas which provide them with tractable skills in their field of choice, including written and oral forms of communication and further developing their understanding of the scientific process.

Publications

Publications

2020. Unger, S., L. Williams, C. Lawson, and J. Groves. Using trail cameras to access recreation in hellbender streams of North Carolina National Forests. Journal of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 7: 255-262.

2020.Z. Hull*, and S. Unger. Short term microbial colonization of reptile roadkill. Journal of North American Herpetology. 2020(1): 8-12.

2020.Unger, S., M. Rollins, A. Tietz*, and H. Dumais*. Using iNaturalist to engage undergraduate biology students in outdoor activities. Journal of Biology Education. March 2020:1-11.

2020.Unger, S., C. Thompson*, and M. Rollins. Hot or cold blooded? A laboratory activity investigating thermoregulation in animals using accessible technology. American Biology Teacher 82:227-233.

Presentations

Presentations

2020. Invited Speaker. 9th World Congress of Herpetology. Positive Perceptions of an Enigmatic Animal follow Conservation Biology Eras. Dunedin, New Zealand.

2019. Invited Speaker. Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. The efficacy of trail cameras to monitor recreational use of hellbender streams in North Carolina national forests. Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Awards

Awards

2020. WINGS International Faculty Grant

2019. Heather Campbell Service Award

2019. Faculty Mentor Award

2018. Faculty Mentor Award

2018. WINGS International Faculty Grant

2016. Undergraduate Summer Research Grant

Courses I Teach

Courses I Teach

BIO 450 (Seminar), BIO160 (Organismal), BIO405 (Evolution), BIO365 (Herpetology), BIO493 (Animal Behavior)

Interesting Fact About Me

Interesting Fact About Me

Born and raised in Panama.

I Play the Ukulele.

What I Love About Wingate

What I Love About Wingate

Working with students and sharing my love of the Outdoors, Nature, and Science.