Dr. Thomas Serfass


Ph.D., Wildlife and Fisheries Science, The Pennsylvania State University. 1994.



2007-present Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Department of Biology, Frostburg State University. Teach: Wildlife Techniques; Ecology and Management of Wildlife Populations; Mammalogy; and Conservation Biology and Reserve Design.



I am Chair, and Professor of Wildlife Ecology in the Department of Biology and Natural Resources at Frostburg State University, and Adjunct Professor at the Appalachian Laboratory – University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. A large portion of my research and conservation activities has focused on the design, implementation, and evaluation of wildlife restoration programs and recovering wildlife populations—particularly mesocarnioves. I conceived and coordinated the successful Pennsylvania River Otter (Lontra canadensis) and Fisher (Martes pennanti) Reintroduction Projects, and have authored over 40 journal, proceedings, popular articles, and book chapters dealing specifically with river otters, fishers, and wildlife reintroductions. During the past 14 years I have mentored the completion of 38 MS and PhD students, conducting research ranging from evaluating the fates of river otters reintroduced in western New York to assessing the natural history and conservation value (potential as flagship species) of spotted-necked otters (Lutra maculicollis) and other wildlife at Rubondo Island National Park, Lake Victoria, Tanzania. I am the North American Coordinator of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ Otter Specialist Group. 




2014 Inducted as a Fellow of The Wildlife Society at national TWS meeting.
2008 Professional Award—For outstanding contributions to the management and conservation of wildlife in Maryland, The Wildlife

Society—Maryland-Delaware Chapter.
2007 Recipient Wilson H. Elkins Professorship, University of Maryland System (only 3-time recipient of the award; provided

$235,000 to support research in Tanzania).
2006 Recipient Wilson H. Elkins Professorship, University of Maryland System.
2005 Recipient Wilson H. Elkins Professorship, University of Maryland System.
2003 First recipient of the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award, The Pennsylvania State University School of Forest Resources.
1997 Three Rivers Environmental Award (Higher Education Category – considered the premier environmental award in

Pennsylvania) - Sponsored by: Pennsylvania Environmental Council and Duquesne Light Company. Presented to the

individual making outstanding contributions to the conservation of natural resources in western Pennsylvania.
1993 Pennsylvania Conservation Professional of the Year - awarded by: Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation, educational

division of Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, Inc. and Sears, Roebuck, and Co.