Thomas Wood

Portrait of Thomas Wood
Titles and Organizations

Associate Professor

Contact Information

Phone: 703-993-3167
Campus: Fairfax
Building: Enterprise Hall 434


Dr. Wood is Associate Professor of Integrative and Interdisciplinary Studies in the School of Integrative Studies (SIS) at George Mason University and has been with SIS since 1996.  He created the Smithsonian Mason Semester and directed the development of Mason's joint program with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.  Currently he serves as Director of Environmental Studies on the Piedmont, a 1000 acre research station near campus.  

Dr. Wood's research interests are in conservation biology, reproductive physiology, ecology and education.  He advises graduate students and undergraduate students involved in many projects ranging from biodiversity monitoring to education reform.

Dr. Wood has extensive experience in funded science education reform efforts including the NSF sponsored project SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) where he serves as senior Leadership Fellow and co-directs the Chesapeake SENCER Center for Innovation.   Dr. Wood has received funding from the Dept. of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE) to reform curriculum in Conservation Biology and from private foundations.  He regularly consults with faculty teams from universities around the country, and internationally, to improve science education on their campuses.

Dr. Wood has co-developed many interdisciplinary, team-taught, learning community courses focused on science and civic engagement. His course “Mysteries of Migration, Consequences for Conservation” was selected as a national model course for science education reform in 2000.

He serves as the Dive Control Officer of the George Mason chapter of the American Academy of Underwater Scientists and directs the scientific diving training program at Mason. He is recipient of the George Mason University Excellence in Teaching Award and frequently represents the University at national education meetings.

Dr. Wood enjoys introducing people to the natural world.

Current Research

Biodiversity monitoring in the Piedmont of Virginia

Environmental DNA for amphibians

Population dynamics of mole salamanders in the Piedmont

Evolution of North American swans

Outdoor science education

Selected Publications

Recent Publications: 

Sharma, S., Dutta T., Maldonado, J.E., Wood, T.C., Panwar, H.S., Seidensticker, J.  (2013) Selection of microsatellite loci for genetic monitoring of sloth bears. Ursus 24 (2):164-169.

Campbell, S, Wood T.C. (2013) Influences of Acorn Mast, Temperature, Precipitation and Snow Accumulation on White-Tailed Deer Body Mass in the Northern Piedmont of Virginia.  Northeastern Naturalist 20, (3) 469-477

Dutta, T., Sharma, S., Maldonado, J. E., Wood, T. C., Panwar, H. S., Seidensticker, J. (2013) Gene flow and demographic history of leopards (Panthera pardus) in the central Indian highlands. Evolutionary Applications: DOI: 10.1111/eva.12078

Sharma, S., Dutta, T., Maldonado, J. E., Wood, T. C., Panwar, H. S., Seidensticker, J. (2013) A highly informative microsatellite panel for individual identification and sex determination of jungle cats (Felis chaus). Conservation Genetics Resources DOI: 10.1007/s12686-013-9873-0.

Sharma, S., Dutta, T., Maldonado, J. E., Wood, T. C., Panwar, H. S., Seidensticker, J. (2013) Spatial genetic analysis reveals high connectivity of tiger (Panthera tigris) populations in the Satpura-Maikal landscape of Central India. Ecology and Evolution. 3(1) 48-60. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.432

Dutta, T., Sharma, S., Maldonado, J. E., Wood, T. C., Panwar, H. S., Seidensticker, J. (2012) Fine-scale population genetic structure in a wide-ranging carnivore, the leopard (Panthera pardus) in central India. Diversity and Distributions. DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12024.

Dutta, T., Sharma, S., Maldonado, J. E., Wood, T. C., Seidensticker, J. (2012). A reliable method for individual identification and gender determination of wild leopards (Panthera pardus fusca) using non-invasive samples. Conservation Genetics Resources 4(3): 665-667.

Grants and Fellowships

Ohrstrom Foundation - Science education for K-12 faculty

SENCER - National Science Foundation funded. 

OSCAR undergraduate research


BS Animal Science, University of California Davis 1986

MS Animal Science, Louisiana State University 1988

Ph.D. Environmental Science and Public Policy, George Mason University 2006