George Christopher Argyros

Professor of Biology and Department Chair

I come to Emory & Henry by way of Boston, Massachusetts!

My research interests focus on small mammal & amphibian systematics and evolutionary biogeography. In particular, glacial relic communities of high altitude montane spruce-fir forests in the southern Appalachians, and coastal island populations of the northeastern United States and Canadian Maritimes. My more recent areas of interest and research include biology & ecology of vector borne diseases, and skeletal pathologies of mammals.


  • Northeastern University, Boston, MA 
    Ph.D., Biology, 2005
    M.Sc., Biology/Zoology, 1997
  • Boston University, Boston, MA 
    B.A. Biology/Marine Science, 1991 


I have been teaching and working with undergraduate students for 29 years.

Here at Emory & Henry, I’m teaching General Biology, Organismal Biology, Human Anatomy, Integrated Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, Vertebrate Zoology, Tropical Biology, and Biology and Ecology of Mammals.


My current research in the area of southwest Virginia revolves around vertebrate community evolutionary biogeography of montane small mammals and salamanders.

My students and I are conducting small mammal and salamander surveys on montane “habitat islands” to investigate differences among mountaintop populations along the Appalachian chain, and historical post-glacial colonization and dispersal.

I plan to continue my coastal island work in southern New England (Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket), Maine (Mt. Dessert Island, Deer Island), and the Canadian Maritimes (Grand Manan Island, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island, and Prince Edward Island) during the summer months.

Below are examples of some of my undergraduate student research projects.


Current Student Projects: 2016-Present

  • Historical Biogeography of Insular Meadow Voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) in Southern New England (on-going)*Multi-student/Multi-year project-partly used for CURE (course embedded undergraduate research experiences/STEM Cohort)
  • Taxonomic Status and Systematics of the Nantucket Island Mouse (Peromyscus leucopus fusus) (2016-2018) Student-Taylor Blevins
  • Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistance in the Gut Flora of a Community of Domesticated Livestock in Southwest Virginia (2016-2018) Student-Casey Chaplin
  • Taxonomic Status and Systematics of the Monomoy Island Mouse (Peromyscus leucopus ammodytes) (2016-2018) Student-Taylor F. Richardson
  • A Comparison of Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistance in Wild and Domesticated Horses (Equus caballus). (2017-2019) Students- Courtney M. Schwein, Madison McKinsey (Honor’s Thesis Project), and Brittany Stiefel* (Pulaski Governor’s Academy Senior Research Project)
  • An Ecomorphological Ratio Model for Inferring Habitats in Extant and Extinct Testudines (2017-2019) Student-Benjamin Sexton
  • Mitochondrial Biogeography of Montane Lepidoptera of the Shenandoah Valley and Whitetop Mountain, southwest Virginia (2016-2018) Student-Allison Singleton
  • Lyme Disease in the Eastern United States: Comparative Host-Parasite-Pathogen Phylogeography (Honor’s Thesis Project 2017-2019) Student-Amanda Whitlow
  • Barn Owl Pellets as an Indicator of Small Mammal Community Structure in Eastern Tennessee: A Composite Skeletal and Mitochondrial Analysis (Honor’s Thesis Project 2016-2019) Student-Thomas Wolfe
  • Prevalence of Pathologies in the Cranial and Post-Cranial Skeleton of Arboreal and Volant Sciurids (2017-2020) Student- Carly Gunnell
  • Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) as Mechanical Vectors of Parasitic Protozoa (2017-2020) Students- Liberty Shepard and Melanie McAmis (Honor’s Thesis Project)

 Completed Student Projects: (2015-2017)

  • An Initial Assessment of Phylogeny and Historical Biogeography of Plethodontid Salamanders: A Mitochondrial Data Mining Approach using Cytochrome B. (2015-2016) Student-Keri Roberts
  • Prevalance of Antibiotic Resistance in the Gut Flora (Enterobacteriaceae) in a Community of Stabled Horses (Equus caballus): Implications for Community Acquired Drug Resistance (2015-2016) Student-Anna M. Green
  • Phylogeography of Montane Salamanders in Southwestern Virginia: A Mitochondrial Analysis (2015-2017) Student-Erin M. Kirk
  • Epithelial Body-Swabbing as a Non-Invasive Method for DNA Sampling in Salamanders (2015-2016) Student-Erin M. Kirk
  • Impacts of Pesticides and Biosolids on Lumbricus terrestris (2016-2017) Student-Emily Welch
  • Epithelial Mucosal Swabbing of Frogs (Ranidae) as an Indicator of Bovine Fecal Coliform Contamination of Aquatic Habitats in Southwest Virginia (2016-2017) Student-Brandon M. Gearhart *co-mentored w/Dr. Melissa P. Taverner

Browse additional research on ResearchGate.

Contact Info

330c McGlothlin-Street Hall
P.O. Box 947
Emory, Virginia 24327



McGlothlin-Street Hall