Kerry A. Hansknecht
Assistant Professor of Biology
Lander University


B.S., 2000, Biology, George Mason University

M.S., 2003, Biology, Central Michigan University

Ph.D., 2009, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee



Information for Lander Students

If you are a biology major at Lander, especially if you are one of my advisees, or if you are one of my students, you might wish to visit my advising page.




Primary Teaching Interests

Though I find all organisms fascinating, I am especially captivated by animals and the lives they lead. Moreover, I enjoy sharing my interests with students, and some of the courses on my favorites list, in alphabetical order, are:

Animal Behavior
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
General Ecology
General Zoology
Herpetology
Human Anatomy
Invertebrate Zoology
Mammalogy
Vertebrate Zoology



Primary Research Interests

I am most interested in the ecological aspects of foraging behavior of semiaquatic snakes.

For my M.S. thesis I examined temporal and thermal characteristics of cold-water foraging by northern water snakes, Nerodia sipedon. While foraging in Lake Michigan along the shores of Beaver Island, these water snakes shuttle between the colder waters where they find fish and the warmer waters at the shoreline. This strategy may allow them to remain in the lake to forage for several hours by reducing the amount of time they experience body temperatures low enough to hamper locomotion. ( Here's to being in the right place at the right time.)

For my Ph.D. research, I studied the foraging behavior of Mangrove Saltmarsh Snakes, Nerodia clarkii compressicauda. Specifically, I examined the relative importance of chemical and visual cues in eliciting lingual luring behavior and how light intensity, habitat complexity, and prey density affect the snakes' use of different foraging modes.
Click here for some video clips of the lingual luring exhibited by these snakes.
NEW CLIPS showing successful attraction and capture of fish added 4 March 2011 and 14 July 2011 (the latter coming from my new HD camcorder!).




Publications and Theses
(email me for pdfs not available below)

Hansknecht, K.A. and E. A. McDonald. 2010. A functional and cleanable substrate for snake testing arenas. Herpetological Review 42(2):166-168.

Hansknecht, K.A. and G. M. Burghardt. 2010. Stimulus control of lingual predatory luring and related foraging tactics of Mangrove Saltmarsh Snakes (Nerodia clarkii compressicauda). Journal of Comparative Psychology 124(2):159-165.

Hansknecht, K.A. 2009. Foraging behavior of Nerodia clarkii compressicauda, with special reference to lingual luring. Unpubl. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (PDF)

Hansknecht, K.A. 2008. Lingual luring by Mangrove Saltmarsh Snakes (Nerodia clarkii compressicauda). Journal of Herpetology 42:9-15.

Pigliucci, M., J. Banta, C. Bossu, P. Crouse, T. Dexter, K. Hansknecht, and N. Muth. 2004. The alleged fallacies of evolutionary theory. Philosophy Now 46:36-39.
Reprinted in 2005 in: Georgia Journal of Science 63(3):167-174.

Akre, T.S.B., and K.A. Hansknecht. 2003. Geographic Distribution. Eurycea longicauda longicauda. Herpetological Review 34:379.

Hansknecht, K.A. 2003. Thermal and temporal aspects of cold-water foraging by the northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon sipedon). Unpubl. M.Sc. thesis, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant. (PDF)

Ernst, C.H., T.R. Creque, and K. A. Hansknecht. 2001. Kinosternon subrubrum subrubrum (Eastern Mud Turtle). Early Nesting. Herpetological Review 32:103-104.

Hansknecht, K.A., T.R. Creque, and C.H. Ernst. 1999. Thamnophis sauritus sauritus (Eastern Ribbon Snake). Hibernaculum. Herpetological Review 30:104.




Mailing Address:

Dr. Kerry A. Hansknecht
Department of Biology, Lander University
320 Stanley Ave.
CPO Box 6030
Greenwood, SC 29649


Tel: (864) 388-8286
Email: clarkii@nerodia.net
(Lander students should communicate with me via my Lander email account, not this one)