TJ Firneno


TJ is a native of Pennsylvania, growing up in the Pocono Mountains and spending the last nine years in Pittsburgh. While in Pittsburgh, TJ received his Bachelor’s in Biological Science from Duquesne University (2011) and his Master’s in Biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (2016). During his Master’s, TJ worked under Dr. Josiah Townsend, where his thesis focused on investigating species boundaries in three closely related Mesoamerican toads (Incilius). He also worked with a number of other groups of Mesoamerican amphibians and reptiles (Hypopachus, Hemidactylus, and Bolitoglossa), and has conducted several trips to Honduras for specimen collection. While not in the field or the lab, TJ was (and sometimes still is…) very active in theater and the performing arts. He has served as a designer, director, and producer for a number of Pittsburgh theaters while he lived there.

Office: ERB 446
Lab: ERB 475
e-mail: thomas.firneno(at)

Mailing address:
Thomas J. Firneno
Department of Biology
University of Texas at Arlington
Box 19498
Arlington, TX 76019-0498

Research Interests
TJ is interested in systematics and evolutionary relationships of Mesoamerican amphibians and reptiles.

Hess, A.J., Itgen, M.W., Firneno, T.J., Nifong, J.C., and Townsend, J.H. (2016). Microsympatry in cryptic lowland salamanders (Caudata: Plethodontidae: Bolitoglossa subgenus Nanotriton) from Southwestern Honduras: Implications for taxonomy and regional biogeography. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 54(4): doi:10.1111/jzs.12151.

Townsend, J.H., Firneno, T.J., Escoto, D.L., Flores-Girón, E.A., Medina-Flores, M., and Oyuela, O.W. (2015) The first record of the streamside frog Craugastor rupinius (Anura: Craugastoridae) in Honduras, confirmed by 16S barcoding. Alytes 32: 55-58

April 9, 2016. Firneno, Thomas J., and Josiah H. Townsend. Species boundaries and
population structure in closely-related Mesoamerican toads (Incilius coccifer
complex). (Poster). The University of Florida 39th Annual Herpetology Conference,
Gainesville, Florida.

October 29, 2014. Firneno, Thomas J., and Josiah H. Townsend. Two endemic
endangered species or one widespread species? Evaluating species boundaries in
closely related Mesoamerican toads (Poster). The Wildlife Society 21st
Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

October 17, 2014. Firneno, Thomas J., Ileana Luque-Montes, and Josiah H. Townsend. Evaluando los limites de especie en especies de sampos (Anura: Bufonidae: grupo Incilius coccifer) estrechamente relacionadas de Honduras. (Poster). XVIII Congress of the Society of Mesoamerican Biology and Conservation, Copan Ruinas, Honduras.

October 17, 2014. Hess, Alexander J., Thomas J. Firneno, Ileana Luque-Montes, and Josiah H. Townsend. La taxonmia de las Nanotriton (Plethodontidae: Bolitoglossa) en Honduras es confuse debido a su morfologia altamente conservativa y microsimpatria. (Poster). XVIII Congress of the Society of Mesoamerican Biology and Conservation, Copan Ruinas, Honduras.