Aaron Bossert

Lecturer of Biology Biology


Office: St. Ignatius Science Center 230

My research interests include entomology (insects), herpetology (amphibians and reptiles), urban herpetology, and wetland ecology. I’m currently investigating these research topics through a partnership with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Jackson County Parks and Recreation (JCPR), and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). In addition I’ve previously worked with students and faculty from the University of Central Missouri (UCM), Avila University (AU), and Rockhurst University (RU).

Life History of Wetland Animals and Wetland Communities

In 2010 and 2011, I studied the life history of Pissonotus piceus, an insect commonly occurring along water edges, wet areas, and wetlands, for my Master’s degree. My collaborator was Stephen Wilson, Ph.D., with the University of Central Missouri. We inventoried the insect community of P. piceus; we described the feeding, predator avoidance, and reproductive behaviors of the insect; we developed a key to the development stages of the insect; and we observed its developmental response to habitat disruption.

Selected Presentation and Publication:

Bossert, A. 2011. A Comparison of Two Eudicot Feeding Delphacid Planthoppers (Pissonotus piceus Van Duzee and P. delicatus Van Duzee Hemiptera: Delphacidae). M.A. Thesis. University of Central Missouri.

Bossert A., S. Wilson, and M. Cove. Effect of Habitat Alteration on Wing Form in a Delphacid Planthopper (Hempitera: Fulgoroidea). Poster Presented at the Missouri Academy of Science, April 2011, in Jefferson City, MO.


Since, I have been collaborating with graduate students from UCM; a number of undergraduate students from UCM, AU, and RU; and a variety of government organizations such as MoDOT, MDC, JCPR, and USACE to inventory and monitor the amphibians and reptiles of Blue Springs Lake, located in Jackson County, Missouri. The study initially started as an inventory of the amphibians, insects, and reptiles of the newly created wetland bank (2009) located at the Blue Springs Lake Wetland. The study has since expanded to inventory and map the distribution of amphibians and reptiles of Blue Springs Lake, and will further expand to include the whole of Fleming Park over the next several years.

Selected Presentation (* Indicates Graduate Research **Indicates Undergraduate Research)

*Lyon T., A. Bossert, and S. Cairns. A Minimially-Invasive Study of an Urban Population of Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) in Western Missouri (Jackson County). Poster Presented at the Missouri Natural Resources Conference. February 2014, Osage Beach, MO.

**Bossert A., B. Dlugolecki, K. Dlugolecki, D. Deisher, A. Mertz, and J. Mittelhauser. Herpetofaunal Inventory of a Midwestern Suburban Wetland Bank (Jackson County, Missouri). Poster Presented at the Missouri Natural Resources Conference. February 2013, Osage Beach, MO.

**Mertz. A, J. Mittelhauser, A. Bossert, and D. Penning. Reponses of Amphibians to Restoration of a Wetland Site in Blue Springs, Missouri. Poster Presented at the Missouri Natural Resources Conference. February 2012, Osage Beach, MO.

Misc. Collaborations

From 2010 to 2012, I collaborated with Mike Cove, Doctoral Candidate at North Carolina State University, to map and monitor mammalian mesopredator (medium size mammal predators) distribution and interactions around Warrensburg and Knob Noster in Johnson County, Missouri. I’ve also begun collaborations and consultations with other RU faculty to help facilitate their research and grow their programs.

Selected Presentations and Publications (* Indicates Undergraduate Research)

Cove M., A. Bossert, B. Jones, D. Clever, R. Dunwoody, and V. Jackson. 2012. Use of Camera Traps to Examine the Mesopredator Release Hypothesis in a Fragmented Midwestern Landscape. The American Midland Naturalist 168(2):456-465.

*White B., M. Cove, A. Bossert, N. Stevenson, and V. Jackson. Using Remotely-Triggered Cameras to Assess Competitive Factors Among Suburban Mammalian Species. Poster Presented at the Missouri Natural Resources Conference. February 2012, Osage Beach, MO.

*Dunwoody R., A. Bossert, B. Jones, M. Cove, D. Clever, and V. Jackson. Occupancy Modeling of Forest Mesopredators in a Fragmented Suburban Landscape. Poster Presented at the Missouri Natural Resources Conference. February 2010, Osage Beach, MO.