I’m interested in the biology, ecology and conservation of invertebrates and vertebrates, especially in sensitive habitats. I’ve worked most extensively with life histories, taxonomy, ecology and conservation of insects and other invertebrates. Much of my recent research has involved studies on caves, groundwater, and their intersection with human activities.
Colorado College students interested in developing a research project — either for a block or as a summer research project — are welcome to meet with me and discuss possibilities. I’m happy to help you build a research project out of ideas you may have, or you can plug into one of several projects that are designed to engage college students.
At the moment, my primary research focus involves cave & groundwater amphipods (Crustacea) and hyporheic ecosystems.
Other Research Interests
I’m exploring various cave biology projects which would involve cave bioinventories, collecting cave microclimate data, and possibly even doing some 3D cave mapping. Additionally, scorpion biology is something I’ve been dabbling in, and there is definitely an opportunity, in the warmer months, to do some interesting work with these animals just a bit south of Colorado Springs. Previously, I’ve worked with bats, and, if there is funding, more work could be done, especially focused on bat acoustic surveys. Recently, I’ve been expanding from bat acoustic surveys to more broadly investigating ecoacoustics. Other projects that might be interesting and feasible for undergraduate projects include studies of stream macroinvertebrates, ground beetle communities (restricted to warmer months), and quantification of human trash along waterways. If any one of these, or some idea that you have for other research, seems like something you’d like to explore, we can meet and chat.
More about me
Select Recent Publications
Niemiller M.L., S.J. Taylor, and M.E. Bichuette. 2018. Conservation of cave fauna, with an emphasis on Europe and the Americas. Pages 451-478 in: Cave Ecology, (Moldovan, O.T., Kováč, L., & Halse, S., eds.). Ecological Studies (Analysis and Synthesis), vol 235. vii + 545 p. Springer Nature Switzerland. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-98852-8_22
Katz, A.D., S.J. Taylor and M. Davis. 2018. At the confluence of vicariance and dispersal: Phylogeography of cavernicolous springtails (Collembola: Arrhopalitidae, Tomoceridae) codistributed across a geologically complex karst landscape in Illinois and Missouri. Ecology & Evolution 8(18):1–20. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4507 (open access)
Sidorov, D., S.J. Taylor, S. Sharina, and A. Gontcharo. 2018. Zenkevitchiidae fam. nov. (Crustacea: Gammaroidea), with description of new subterranean amphipods from extremely deep cave habitats. Journal of Natural History 52(23–24): 1509–1535. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00222933.2018.1482017
Elliott, W.R., J.R. Reddell, D.C. Rudolph, G.O. Graening, T.S. Briggs, D. Ubick, R.L. Aalbu, J.K. Krejca and S.J. Taylor. 2017. The Cave Fauna of California. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, Series 4. Volume 64(Supplement 1): 1-311. pdf (25 mb)
Niemiller M.L., M.L. Porter, J. Keany, H. Gilbert, D.W. Fong, D.C. Culver, C. Hobson, K.D. Kendall, M.A. Davis, and S.J. Taylor. 2017. Evaluation of eDNA for groundwater invertebrate detection and monitoring: a case study with endangered Stygobromus (Amphipoda: Crangonyctidae). Conservation Genetics Resources 11 p. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12686-017-0785-2 pdf
Katz, A.D., S.J. Taylor, F.N. Soto-Adames, A. Addison, G.B. Hoese, M.R. Sutton and T. Toulkeridis. 2016. New records and new species of springtails (Collembola: Entomobryidae, Paronellidae) from lava tubes of the Galápagos Islands (Ecuador). Subterranean Biology 17: 77–120. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/subtbiol.17.7660
Taylor, S.J. and M.L. Niemiller. 2016. Biogeography and conservation assessment of Bactrurus groundwater amphipods (Crangonyctidae) in the central and eastern United States. Subterranean Biology 17: 1–29. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/subtbiol.17.7298
Taylor, S.J., J.K. Krejca, M.L. Niemiller, M.J. Dreslik, and C.A. Phillips. 2015. Life history and demographic differences between cave and surface populations of the Western Slimy Salamander Plethodon albagula (Caudata: Plethodontidae), in central Texas. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 10(2): 740–752. pdf (1 MB)