Dr. Steve Mockford  

Centre for Wildlife and Conservation Biology
of Biology, Acadia University

Steve Mockford

Department of Biology 
Acadia Univeristy
Wolfville, Nova Scotia
B4P 2R6

Phone:     902 585 1870
Fax:          902 585 1059
Email:    stephen.mockford@acadiau.ca

My research interests revolve around the application of genetic techniques to address questions in conservation ecology. I am currently involved in the population genetics of several species of reptiles which occur at the edge of their range in Nova Scotia: Blanding’s turtle, the wood turtle, and the eastern ribbon snake. By examining genetic structure at a large spatial scale we are attempting to assess the contribution these populations make to the overall genetic variation in their species. At finer spatial scales we are looking for genetic structure that will allow us to match the scale of recovery actions to the ecological scale of the population.

Academic Degrees

BSc        Acadia University           1996

PhD         Dalhousie University    2006 

Courses Taught

Biol 1113        Organisms and Their  Envrionment 1
Biol 2020L    Principles of Heredity (Labs)
Biol 4613        Topics in Genetics

         Representative Publications


Howes BJ, JW Brown, HL Gibbs, TB Herman, SW Mockford, KA Prior and PJ Weatherhead. In Press. Directional gene flow patterns in disjunct populations of the black ratsnake (Pantheropis obsoletus) and the Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii).  Conservation Genetics.

Mockford S.W., T.B. Herman, M. Snyder, and J.M. Wright. 2007. Conservation genetics of Blanding’s turtle and it application in the identification of evolutionarily significant units. Conservation Genetics 8:209-219.

Burke RL, LS Ford, E Lehr, S Mockford, PCH Pritchard, JPO Rosado, DM Senneke, and BL Stuart. 2007. Non-Standard Sources in a Standardized World: Responsible Practice and Ethics of Acquiring Turtle Specimens for Scientific Use. In: Shaffer HB, NN FitzSimmons, A Georges, and AGJ Rhodin, (eds). Defining Turtle Diversity: Proceedings of a Workshop on Genetics, Ethics, and Taxonomy of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles. Chelonian Research Monographs 4:142-146

Moyes, C.B., S. Mockford, L.F. Almeida-Toledo and J.M. Wright. 2005. Isolation and characterization of nine polymorphic  microsatellite loci in the Neotropical electric eel Eigenmannia (Teleostei: Gymnotoformes). Molecular Ecology Notes 5:7-9.

Zink, R.M., J.D. Rising, S.Mockford, A.G. Horn, J. M. Wright, M. Leonard, and M. Westberg. 2005. Rapid evolution of size, shape and  plumage variation in the Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis). Condor 107:21-28.

Mockford, S.W., L.  McEachern, T.B. Herman, M. Snyder, and J.M. Wright. 2005. Population genetic structure of a disjunct population  of Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) in Nova Scotia, Canada. Biological Conservation 123:373-380.

Osentoski, M. F., S. Mockford, J.M. Wright, M. Snyder, T.B. Herman, and C.R. Hugh. 2002. Isolation and characterization of  microsatellite loci for Blanding's turtle, Emydoidea blandingii. Molecular Ecology Notes 2: 147-149.

Mockford S.W., J.M. Wright, M. Snyder and T.B. Herman. 2000. A non-destructive source of DNA from hatchling fresh-water turtles for use In PCR based assays. Herpetological Review. 30(3):148-149.

Mockford, S.W., M. Snyder and T.B. Herman. 1999. A preliminary examination of genetic variation in a peripheral population of Blanding’s turtle, Emydoidea blandingii. Molecular Ecology 1999(8):323-327.

Hurlburt, D.D., S.W. Mockford and T.B. Herman. 1999. Chelydra serpentina (Common Snapping Turtle) Aggression. Herpetological Review 30(1):39.


Nova Scotia's Species at Risk: Conservation and Recovery

Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution

Society for the Study of Amphians and Reptiles 

Science and the Management of Protected Areas Association