Dr. Matter joined Juniata College's faculty as Assistant Professor of Biology in 1997. Professor Matter received his doctorate from the Department of Zoology at the University of Florida (Gainesville), and has worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Florida Museum of Natural History. He earned his M.S. from Saint Louis University, and his B.A. from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Immediately prior to coming to Juniata College, he was a post-doctoral research associate at The Institute of Wildlife and Environmental Toxicology at Clemson University, SC. He also completed a post-doctoral year at the University of South Dakota.
His primary research interest is vertebrate reproductive biology, including comparative endocrinology, anatomy, and histology of reproductive structures. Other research interests include the ecological consequences of sperm competition, cell biology of spermatogenesis, and sperm motility. At Clemson University, he studied the potential effects of environmental contaminants on reproductive structures in American alligators, bobwhite quail, and deer mice. This research is an outgrowth of work with alligators at Lake Apopka, a contaminated site in central Florida. Since coming to Juniata, his research has focused on population ecology and demography of the eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus), a species in abundance at the Raystown Field Station. Another aspect of study has been the developmental effect of pesticide exposure in vertebrate embryos.
Some of his research techniques include histology for light and electron microscopy, highperformance liquid chromatography, electrophoresis and western blotting of proteins, and in vitro cell culture. Professor Matter has published or presented over thirty different papers, posters, and manuscripts. He currently serves the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR) as Secretary.
His love of desert landscapes and their herpetofaunal diversity helped drive his involvement with the Remote Field Course - an experience that engaged Juniata students in a number of activities in the Colorado Plateau of Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. John's personal hobbies include cycling, running, fly fishing, photography, homebrewing, and soccer.