Patricia (Trish) Freeman

Patricia (Trish) Freeman

  • Contact Information
  • My Story
  • Publications
  • Background
  • Interests
  • Grants

Contact Information

TitleEmeritus Mammalogist/Wildlife Zoologist
Faculty RankProfessor Emeritus
Address Off Campus
  • office: 402-464-7002
  • fax: 402-472-4915


Contact Preference

Office Hours

E-mail is best.

My Story

Hi, I'm Patricia "Trish" Freeman. I'm a professor emerita with the School of Natural Resources (SNR) associated with the fisheries and wildlife major and the wildlife ecology graduate specialization.

My research interests are in the form and function of jaws and teeth of insectivorous (insect-eating) mammals, particularly bats, shrews and moles; simulating the evolution of a large family of tropical bats that contain a diversity of skull shapes and tooth patterns and their phylogeny (the ancestor-descendant relationships) based on DNA; quantifying the toughness of insect cuticle; the biology of vertebrates, particularly mammals, and how their distributions have shifted in Nebraska and the northern Great Plains with increased human effects on the environment and environmental change.

Understanding shifts in distributions of Nebraska wildlife is important in determining how changes may be affecting the environment, and in the spread of diseases. Research on teeth that are among the most primitive in mammals - and correlated diets - not only adds to the foundation of how teeth evolved in mammals, but shows how diet can affect the shape of cusp patterns and the size of teeth in other mammals, such as carnivores and primates, including humans.

Patricia (Trish) Freeman
Trish and two teaching assistants, Chad Brock (Biological Sciences) and Zac Roehrs (MS in SNR) identify a bat that has just been taken out of a net on a bat-netting field trip.

Since coming to UNL in 1981, until summer of 2003, when I joined the SNR, I worked as curator of zoology for the University of Nebraska State Museum. I was the primary scientific expert for exhibits in the Hall of Nebraska Wildlife in Morrill Hall. I was and still am involved in building the largest and finest collections in the world of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and fish from Nebraska and the Northern Great Plains.

I have a bachelor's from Randolph-Macon Woman's College of Lynchburg, Va., a Ph.D from the University of New Mexico.

Selected Publications

Gaughan, S., Pope, K. L., White, J., Lemen, C., Freeman, P. (2020). Mitochondrial genome of northern long-eared bat. Mitochondrial DNA, Part B, 5, 3610-3611.
Spurgeon, J., Pegg, M. A., Pope, K. L., Xie, L. (2020). Ecosystem-specific growth responses to climate pattern by a temperate freshwater fish. Ecological Indicators, 106310. Online
White, J.A., P.W. Freeman, and C.A. Lemen. 2017. Habitat selection by the Northern Long-eared Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) in the Midwestern United States: Life in a shredded farmscape. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences and AffilOnline
White, J.A., P.W. Freeman, H.W. Otto, B.R. Otto, J. Hootman, and C.A. Lemen. 2017. Autumn migration of myotis septentrionalis in Nebraska: documentation of fall activity, migratory timing,and distance using radio-telemetry. In revision: American Midla
Lemen, C., P.W. Freeman, and J. A. White. 2016. Acoustic evidence of bats using rock crevices in winter: A call for more research on winter roosts in North America. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences and Affiliated Societies. 36:9-13.Online
Lemen, C., P.W. Freeman, and J. A. White. 2016. Winter activity of Myotis septentrionalis: The role of temperature in controlling flights from hibernacula. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences and Affiliated Societies. 36:6-8.Online
White, J. A., C.A. Lemen, and P. W. Freeman. 2016. Acoustic detection reveals fine-scale distributions of Myotis lucifugus, Myotis septentrionalis, and Perimyotis subflavus in eastern Nebraska. Western North American Naturalist 76:27-35.Online
Dreier, C. A., K. Geluso, J. D. Frisch, B. N. Adams, A. R. Lingenfelter, A. E. Bridger, P. W. Freeman, C. A. Lemen, J. A. White, B. R. Andersen, H. W. Otto, and C. J. Schmidt. 2015. Mammalian records from southwestern Kansas and northwestern Oklahoma, incOnline
Geluso, K., P. W. Freeman, and C. A. Lemen. 2015. Current status of the Northern Long-eared Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) in northwestern Nebraska. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences and Affiliated Societies, 35:34-40.Online
Lemen, C., P.W. Freeman, J. A. White, and B. R. Andersen. 2015. The problem of low agreement among automated identification programs for acoustical surveys of bats. Western North American Naturalist 75: 218-225.Online
Johnsgard, P. E. Fowler, M. Forsberg, M. Bomberger Brown, D. Ebbeka, J. Loomis and P. Freeman. 2014. Game Birds of the World: A catalog of the Madson collection. School of Natural Resources, and University of e Museum. 117 pp.Online
White, J. A., B. R. Andersen, H. W. Otto, C. A. Lemen, and P. W. Freeman. 2014. Winter activity of bats in Southeastern Nebraska: an acoustic study. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences 34, 80-83.Online
Freeman, P.W., and Cliff A. Lemen. 2010. Simple predictors of bite force in bats: the good, the better and the better still. Journal of Zoology 282: 284-290.Online
Freeman, P.W., and Cliff A. Lemen. 2009. Puncture-resistance of leather gloves for handling bats. Journal of Wildlife Management, 73: 1251-1254.Online
Geluso, K, M.J. Harner, C.A. Lemen, and P.W. Freeman. 2009. Survey of bats in northern Trinidad late in the rainy season. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Texas Tech University, 285: 1-13.Online
Freeman, P.W., and Cliff A. Lemen. 2008. A simple morphological predictor of bite force in rodents. Journal of Zoology (London) 275: 418-422.Online
Freeman, P.W., and Cliff A. Lemen. 2008. Material properties of coyote dentin under bending: gradients in flexibility and strength by position. Journal of Zoology (London) 275: 106-114.Online
Freeman, P.W., and Cliff A. Lemen. 2008. Measuring bite force in small mammals with a piezo-resistive sensor. Journal of Mammalogy. 89: 513-517.Online
Genoways, H.H., Hoffman, J.D., Freeman, P.W., Geluso, K., Benedict, R.A. and Huebschman, J.J. 2008. Mammals of Nebraska. Lincoln: University of Nebraska State Museum. Pp. 92.
Freeman, P. W., and Cliff A. Lemen. 2007. Using scissors to quantify hardness of insects: Do bats select for size or hardness? Journal of Zoology (London), 271:469-476.Online
Freeman, P.W., and Cliff A. Lemen. 2007. An experimental approach to quantifying strength of canine teeth. Journal of Zoology (London), 271:162-169.Online
Freeman, P.W., and Cliff A. Lemen. 2007. The tradeoff between strength and tooth penetration: Predicting optimal shape of canine teeth. Journal of Zoology (London), 273:273-280.Online
Freeman, P.W., and Cliff A. Lemen. 2006. Puncturing ability of idealized canine teeth: edged and non-edged shanks. Journal of Zoology (London), 269: 51-56.Online
Freeman, P. W. 2005. Nebraska's endangered species. Part 6: threatened and endangered mammals. Museum Notes, 120: 1-4.Online
Garland, Theodore, Jr., and P.W. Freeman. 2005. Selective breeding for high endurance running increases hind limb symmetry. Evolution, 59: 1851-1854.Online
Swartz, S., Freeman, P.W., and E. Stockwell. 2003. Ecomorphology of Bats: Comparative and Experimental Approaches. Pp. 257-300, in Bat Ecology (T. H. Kunz and M. B. Fenton, eds.). University of Chicago Press. 779 pp.Online
Benedict, R. A., H. H. Genoways, and P. W. Freeman. 2000. Shifting distributional patterns of mammals in Nebraska. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences. 26: 55-84.Online
Freeman, P.W. 2000. Macroevolution in Microchiroptera: Recoupling morphology and ecology with phylogeny. Evolutionary Ecology - Research. 2: 317-335.Online
Freeman, P. (Bleed, A. S., Flowerday, C. A., editors), 1998. [Sand Hills] Amphibians and Reptiles. An Atlas of the Sand Hills: 4 pp.Online
Freeman, P. 1998. [Sand Hills] Mammals. University of Nebraska–Lincoln, . Conservation and Survey Division An Atlas of the Sand Hills. 193-200.Online
Freeman, P.W. and H.H. Genoways 1998. Recent northern records of the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypodidae) in Nebraska. Southwestern Naturalist. 43:491-495.Online
Genoways, H.H., P.W. Freeman, and M.K. Clausen 1998. Diet of a relict population of the eastern woodrat in Nebraska. Prairie Naturalist. 29:171-178.Online



DegreeMajorInstitutionYear Awarded
Doctorate of PhilosophyUniversity of New Mexico1977
Bachelor of ScienceRandolph-Macon Woman's College of Lynchburg, VA1969





TitleAwarded byYear Awarded
Senior Faculty Holling Family Award for Teaching ExcellenceUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln2013
Hammond Fling Faculty Research FellowshipResearch Council, UNL2007
Certificate of Recognition for Contributions to StudentsUNL Parents Association.2005
Gerritt S. Miller AwardThe North American Symposium on Bat Research2001
Layman AwardUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln.1997
Alumna member Phi Beta Kappa, Keynote SpeakerRandolph-Macon Woman’s College, Lynchburg, VA.1993
Research AwardCenter for Materials Science Research and Analysis, UNL1993
Layman AwardUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln1983
Albert M. and Alma Shadle Graduate FellowshipThe American Society of Mammalogists1974




SNR Program Areas

  • Applied Ecology

Areas of Interest/Expertise

  • Mammalian biology
  • Non-game Nebraska wildlife
  • Bats and bat acoustics
  • Vertebrate Zoology
  • Evolution and Systematics
  • Functional Morphology
  • Biodiversity
  • Comparative Vertebrate Biology


Currently this page only displays grants that were awarded on 1/1/ 2009 to the present. If a grant was awarded prior to 1/1/ 2009 and is still active, it will not be displayed on this page.

Grant TitleWhite Nose Syndrome Survey 2: Continuation of Acoustical Survey and Begin Searching for Nebraska hibernacula with Radio Tracking
Starting Date08/15/2014


Ending Date07/31/2015
Funding Level$49,527.00
Funding AgencyNebraska Game and Parks Commission


Grant TitleWhite-nose Syndrome
Starting Date08/01/2013


Ending Date07/31/2014
Funding Level$36,767.00
Funding AgencyNebraska Game and Parks Commission