Parker's research focuses on developing an understanding of how sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone regulate the production of sexual signals used in mate choice. He uses snakes as a model group of vertebrates because snakes rely almost exclusively on chemical cues (pheromones) to identify and choose between mates.

Parker's research has been used in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Florida Institute of Technology to improve the management of invasive species, mainly Burmese pythons in the Florida Everglades. His research is also being used to examine similar questions about Argentine tegu lizards.

He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; a master's degree from Washington State University and a doctorate from Oregon State University.

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