Stephen Mason, Ph.D.

Staff Placeholder Image

Title: Assistant Professor

Department: Natural Sciences

Office: Loyola 210B

Phone: (610) 647-4400 Ext: 3276

PhD, Community Ecology, Drexel University 2021
BS, Environmental Science, Stockton University 2009

Certifications: American Red Cross Certified in Adult First Aid, CPR, and AED
National Wildfire Coordination Group, S-130 Firefighter Training
National Wildfire Coordination Group, S-190 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior

Affiliations: Research Associate, Entomology Department, Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia
Science Advisor, National Audubon Society - Hog Island, Maine


Dr. Mason’s research mainly focuses on studying ecological community responses to different types of natural and anthropogenic disturbances. His specific expertise is on how fires (both wildfires and prescribed fires) affect insect communities at the global scale and local scale, particularly within the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The novelty of his research supports that quantifying fire characteristics (e.g., severity, seasonality, frequency) can result in significant differences for insect taxonomic and functional (e.g., pollinators, epigaeic predators) groups. The research that Dr. Mason and his students conduct helps guide conservation and land managers to make more informed decisions and predictions to benefit overall biodiversity, enhance habitat integrity and restoration, and to protect rare species.

Dr. Mason is also a Research Associate with the Academy of Natural Sciences in the Entomology Department, has been a Fellow for the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), and has been awarded multiple grants including New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Conserve Wildlife Matching Grant and the Claudio Elia Memorial Fellowship. Additionally, he is a science advisor for National Audubon Society at their Hog Island site in Maine and collaborates with New Jersey Conservation Foundation on insect diversity projects.

Teaching Goals/Philosophy:

  1. Effectively train undergraduate students in ecology, biology, and natural history.
  2. Develop field programs and reference collections for hands-on experience.
  3. Build student confidence using quantitative analyses.
  4. Mentor students in research that will lead to poster and oral presentations at conferences.
  5. Promote diversity and inclusivity for underrepresented groups in sciences.

Courses Taught

  • Ecology
  • Environmental Science
  • Animal Behavior
  • Human Ecology
  • Vertebrate Structure and Function
  • Cell Biology

Publications (selected)

Mason, Jr., S.C., Shirey, V.M., Ponisio, L.C., and Gelhaus, J.K. (2021) Responses from bees, butterflies, and ground beetles to different fire characteristics: A global meta-analysis. Biological Conservation, 261, 109265.

Mason, Jr., S.C., Betancourt, I.S., and Gelhaus, J.K. 2020. Importance of building a digital species index (spindex) for entomology collections: A case study, results and recommendations, Biodiversity Data Journal. 8, E58310.

Mason, Jr., S.C. 2020. A Time for Physical Distancing, Not Social Distancing. American
Entomologist, 66(4), 35–36.

Mason, Jr., S.C. 2015. Butterflies & Skippers (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea, Hesperioidea) of the Franklin Parker Preserve, Burlington County, New Jersey. Transactions of the American
Entomological Society, 141(3), 351–368.

Presentations (selected)

*Stephen C. Mason, Jr., Vaughn M. Shirey, Lauren C. Ponisio, and Jon K. Gelhaus. Overall Fire Effect Does Not Decrease Species Richness for Bees, Ground beetles, and Butterflies: A Global Meta-analysis. (via Microsoft Teams). National Park Service. February 2021.

*Stephen C. Mason, Jr., Vaughn M. Shirey, Lauren C. Ponisio, and Jon K. Gelhaus “A Meta-Analysis of Fire Effects on Bees.” Entomological Society of America. St. Louis, Missouri. November 2019.

Isa Betancourt, Jon K. Gelhaus, Jason Weintraub, Greg Cowper, Stephen Mason, and Daniel Otte. “Carrying the Historic Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University Entomology Collection Through the Ages.” Entomological Society of America’s Eastern Branch Meeting, Blacksburg, Virginia. March 2019.

*Stephen C. Mason, Jr. and Lauren Ponisio. “Predicting the Response of Pollinators to Fire and Fire Diversity.” Entomological Society of America, Joint Meeting. Vancouver, Canada. November 2018.

Stephen C. Mason, Jr. “A Quick Review on PyroEntomology.” Entomological Society of Pennsylvania. Millersville, Pennsylvania. November 2018.

Stephen C. Mason, Jr. “Fire and Biodiversity: A Quick Overview.” American Entomological Society. Newark, Delaware. October 2018.

Stephen C. Mason, Jr. “The New Hot Topic In Entomology: Fire!” North Atlantic Joint Fire Science Exchange. Virtual Presentation. June 2017

Stephen C. Mason, Jr., Isabelle Betancourt, and Jon K. Gelhaus. “A Digital Species Index of the Entomology Collection at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.” Entomological Collections Network. Orlando, Florida. September 2016.

Stephen C. Mason, Jr., and Jon K. Gelhaus. 2014. “The Lepidoptera Collection at the Academy of Natural Sciences (ANSP) of Drexel University: Don’t forget about us!.” Annual Meeting of the Lepidopterist Society. Park City, Utah. July 2014.

Stephen C. Mason, Jr., Alain Maasri, Jon Gelhaus. 2013. “Grazing Impacts of Mongolia’s Butterfly Fauna at Lake Hovsgol, Mongolia.” Annual Meeting of the Lepidopterist Society. McGuire Center for Lepidoptera & Biodiversity, Gainesville, Florida. June 2013.

Stephen C. Mason, Jr. 2013. “Winging it in Mongolia: The Butterflies of Mongolia.” The American Entomological Society. University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware. March 2013.

Stephen Mason. 2012. “Franklin Parker Preserve Butterfly Survey.” Entomological Society of Pennsylvania. Camp Bashore Boys Scout Camp, Jonestown, Pennsylvania. October 2012.

*Invited Speaker

Research Interests

Biodiversity, Community Ecology, Fire Ecology, Conservation Biology, Entomology, Museum/Collection Management

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