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My training as a biologist covers both invertebrates and vertebrates as well as botany. I am a world authority on two orders of arachnids and have published papers and books on a variety of arthropods, protozoa, vertebrates, and plants.

Although, I am most interested in arachnid taxonomy, and museum collections, I also have keen interests in biospeleology and insect plant interactions: especially those of the carnivorous plants and orchids. I am also very interested in the ex situ breeding/conservation of endangered or “extinct in the wild” plants and animals: especially Nepenthes (tropical pitcher plants) and Cyprinodon (desert pupfishes).

My interests are broad and therefore my publications have dealt with a variety of topics: archaeology, behavior, conservation, documentation, ecology, exocrine gland chemistry, faunal surveys, history of arachnology, karyology, morphology, natural history, paleontology, parasitology, pathology, phylogenetics, physiology, pollination, speleology, taxonomy, ultrastructure, human and veterinary medicine.

Professional Preparation
Texas Tech University, graduate studies in Biological Systematics 1978-1980, Electron Microscopy 2008, Museum Science 2009 Midwestern State University, A.A.S. Chemical Technology 1976, B.S. Biology 1976, M.S. Biology 1978.

Academic/Professional Positions

2007 - present

Assistant Curator, Invertebrate Collection, Museum of Texas Tech University

2007 - present

Research Scientist, Invertebrate Collection, Museum of Texas Tech University

1991 - 1995

Pesticide Specialist I-Antimicrobial Complaint System, Texas Tech University / U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (investigate complaints about ineffective products and incidents involving antimicrobial pesticides within the U.S.A.)

1993 - 1994

Pesticide Specialist I - Ecological Incident Information System, Texas Tech University / U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (investigate recording / reporting efforts within U.S.A. dealing with wildlife exposures to pesticides)

1980 - 1990

Technician II & III - Department of Entomology (1980-1987), Department of Plant and Soil Science and Entomology (1987), Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Entomology (1988-1990), Texas Tech University

1978 - 1980

Graduate Research Assistant - Invertebrate Zoology, The Museum, Texas Tech University

Summer 1979

Laboratory Assistant (Anthropology), Dr. E. Johnson, Lubbock Lake Site, The Museum, Texas Tech University

Summer 1978

Vector Control Worker (Laboratory, Arthropods), K. M. Brown, Wichita City-County Health Department, Wichita Falls, Texas

1975 - 1978

Teaching Assistant - Biology Department, Midwestern State University

1973 - 1974

Research Assistant - Chemistry Department, Midwestern State University


Other Employment

2004 - 2005

Range, Wildlife & Fisheries Department, Texas Tech University (research on fire ants, other arthropods and WWW-B.Dahl grass in Texas)

2005- present

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Developmental Grant (research on cave living spiders from Texas).

2000 - present

S.W.C.A. (South Western Consulting Agency), Austin Office (subcontracts pertaining to endangered cave animals in central Texas)

1999 - present

Discover Life in America (studies on arachnids of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park)

1998 - 2005

U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Corvallis, Oregon (contracts for studies on Old Growth forest arachnids)

1997 - 1998

Wildlife Biologist / Facilities Manager - Flyers Bird & Animal, Lubbock (care of a great variety of animals and facilities)

1994 - present

Contract – J. R. Reddell and Associates, Austin, Texas (identification of ants and arachnids from central Texas caves)


Contract – G. Veni and Associates, San Antonio, Texas (identification of ants and arachnids from Camp Bullis, Texas)


Classification Expert - Oregon State University, Dr. Andrew Moldenke (Contract for identifications of recent invasions of spiders on Mt. Saint Helens)

1999 - 2001

Research Foundation of SUNY, Syracuse, New York (study arachnids in the Adirondack Mountains of New York). 


Research Consultant to Max Plank Institute of Limnology (Ploen, Germany - on arachnids from Amazonia)

February 1998

Visiting Scientist - National Science Foundation and Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii (help organize and identify arachnids at the museum)

1997 - 1998

Classification Expert - Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, New York (identify and enumerate ants and spiders from old-growth forests in the Adirondack Mountains)

Aug. - Sept. 1997

Contract - Invertebrate Collection, The Museum, Texas Tech University (re-organize and curate invertebrate collection)

1996 - 1999

Owner- AllPets Yellow Pages (Internet business for pets and exotic animals).

1994 - 1996

U.S.D.I. National Park Service, Bushkill, Pennsylvania (identification of ants and Opiliones from Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area)

1994 - 1995

Contract - National Biological Survey, Washington, D.C. (taxonomic validation of potentially endangered arachnids)

1992 - 1993

Cave Biologist - Contract between Bureau of Land Management, Roswell, New Mexico, and the Lubbock Area Grotto, Lubbock (biological survey of the caves of Sinkhole Flat, New Mexico)

Aug. 1992

Trainer (Butterfly Wrangler) - "Leap of Faith," Paramount Pictures


Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Research Associate with Dr. William R. Elliott (consult on endangered cave animals impacted by fire ants).

1990 - 1995

Principal Investigator - Midwestern State University / U.S.D.A. Forest Service Cooperative Research Program (roles of ants and Opiliones in West Virginia research forest)

1975 -1976

Entomologist Assistant to Dr. N. V. Horner, contract to Espey, Houston, and Associates, Inc, Environment Consultants, Austin, Texas (identification of arthropods from central Texas).


Synergistic Activities

1989 - present

Adjunct Professor - Department of Biological Sciences, Midwestern State University 

1979 - present 

Research Associate - Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Gainesville, Florida

2003 - present 

Correspondent - Nepenthes clipeata Survival Program (an initiative to capture as much of the living genetic diversity in Nepenthes clipeata as possible before the species becomes extinct in the wild) 

1999 - present 

All Taxa Biological Inventory, U.S.D.I. National Park Service (studies on arachnids and cave animals of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park)

1978 - present 

Editorial: Journal of Arachnology (Editorial Board, 1987-2000, Assistant Editor, 1984-1987, Editorial Assistant, 1978-1984); Liste des Travaux Arachnologiques, International Society of Arachnology (Associate Editor, 1998-2007); Speleological Monographs, Texas Memorial Museum (Coeditor, Editor, 2000- present). The Forum and Journal of the American Tarantula Society (Editorial Board, 1992-1996)

1973 - present

I have supervised numerous graduate and undergraduate students and other employees during the course of my employment at Texas Tech University and Midwestern State University

2002 - present

Member of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Karst Invertebrate Recovery Team.

2002 - 2007

Research Associate, Department Biological Sciences & Museum of Texas Tech University

1976 - 1978 

Curatorial Assistant - Invertebrate Collection, Department of Biology, Midwestern State University

July 1994 

Actor - "Treatment for Agricultural Chemical Poisoning." HealthNet, a state-wide satellite television feed to medical personnel. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

1987 - 1989 

Board of Directors, American Arachnological Society

1983, 1985

Nominations Committee, American Arachnological Society (Member 1983, Chair-person 1985)


Patronyms and awards:
One new genus and seven species of insects and arachnids have been named in my honor (see list).
The Academia de Ciencias de Cuba recognized our scientific investigations (18 papers published between 1999 and 2003; of which Armas & Cokendolpher (2002) was included) for the Annual Prize in 2003.  This prize for “Diversidad de arácnidos en las Antillas Mayores. Órdenes Amblypygi, Schizomida, Scorpiones, Solifugae y Thelyphonida” was shared with seven other researchers from Cuba and the Dominican Republic. A cave in Mexico was named in my honor: "Pozo Cokendolpher."

Professional Affiliations:
American Arachnological Society (life member) 
International Carnivious Plant Society
International Society of Arachnology

200 scientific and semi-popular communications; abstracts, articles, books, etc. (see list) have appeared with 123 coauthors (see list) from 21 different countries (see list). Of these publications, 151 were in scientific, reviewed journals and books.  I have named four new fossil and numerous recent taxa (see list- 1 family group name, 27 genera, and 93 species):  Arachnida: Acari, Amblypygi, Araneae, Opiliones, Ricinulei, Pseudoscorpiones, Schizomida, Scorpiones; Insecta: Coleoptera; Protozoa: Eugregarinorida.

Unpublished works: 
I was a collaborator on: 1990, Spider Literature: A Computer Bibliography Ver. 2.0, 4 mB, J. A. Coddington (Ed.), Smithsonian Institution. I also collaborated on: 1984, Index, volume 1(1973) - volume 10 (1982), Journal of Arachnology, 179 pp. O. F. Francke (editor).  I also wrote the Training Manual for the Antimicrobial Complaint System, a hotline funded by Texas Tech University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  My "Preliminary bibliography to the Opiliones" with about 6,000 citations is available for download on the web site of the International Arachnological Society.  As part of my work as a biological consultant, many unpublished reports have been prepared for the Bureau of Land Management, National Biological Survey, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department,U.S. Army,U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, U.S.D.I.  Park Service, U.S. Marshal Service, foreign universities, and private organizations. 
I was the Associate Editor (covering Opiliones) for the annual "Liste des Travaux arachnologiques" International Society of Arachnology from 1998-2007.  For the past three volumes I have been the coeditor and senior editor of the Texas Memorial Museum, Speleological Monographs. I have an extensive record with the Journal of Arachnology serving on the editorial board for 17 years, as Assistant Editor for three years, and as an Editorial Assistant for six years.  I also served on the Editorial Board for four years for the The Forum and Journal of the American Tarantula Society. I was the editor and publisher of E. Cokendolpher, 1996, “As I was told - Genealogy and stories of the Cokendolphers in America,” 203 pp.
Numerous manuscripts have been reviewed for Acta Zoologica Fennica, Annales Zoologici Warszawa, Aracnología, Boletín de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa, Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society, California Academy of Sciences, Caribbean Journal of Science, Cimbebasia, College of Agricultural Sciences (Texas Tech University), Entomological News, Environmental Entomology, Experimental and Applied Acarology, Florida Entomologists, Forum of the American Tarantula Society, Fossil Record, Invertebrate Taxonomy, Journal of Arachnology, Journal of Insect Physiology, Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, Journal of Parasitology, Journal of Zoology, Max Plank Institute of Limnology, Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters, Midwestern State University, Revista Brasileira de Entomologia, Texas Memorial Museum (The University of Texas at Austin), Texas Journal of Science, U.S.D.A.-A.R.S., and the Western Australian Museum.  Manuscripts are routinely received for comments from colleagues and journals from around the world. 
         Curation and Field Work:
I have extensive experience curating wet collections (arachnids, insects, other invertebrates, and vertebrates).  My experience with dry collections is more limited but includes both fossil and Recent insects, arachnids, and vertebrates. I also have experience with tissue and specimen storage in liquid nitrogen and in –80°C freezers. My experiences also cover curating microscopic slide collections of invertebrates and chromosomes.  I have worked with several different systems for cataloging collections on both paper and computer. 
Although my studies on terrestrial and aquatic faunas are from around the globe (pole to pole), my actual field experience is limited to Canada, México, West Indies, Hawaii and all but a few northeastern states of the U.S.A. Cooperation with individuals and institutes from around the globe have been instrumental in my studies of exotic faunas and floras.

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