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On the loss of a dear friend, and the passing of a tradition

Society mourns loss of Terry Maxwell

TSM members were all saddened by the sudden passing last year of Dr. Terry C. Maxwell, most popularly known within the Texas Society of Mammalogists for sharing his amazing artistic talent.  Terry had been a member of the society since 1990.  He was named an Honorary Member in 2006 and he served as President in 2010‒2011.  Since 1995, Terry has created the original artwork, based on the subject of the banquet speaker’s presentation, that was used on the meeting’s program cover and later the t-shirts and name badges.  When the annual fundraising auction of the society was established in 2003, Terry began donating his original art to the cause.  Always the highlight of the auction, his artwork brought in an average of $400‒$600 per year for the TSM endowment to support student awards.

A sample of Terry Maxwells Art

A sample of Terry's TSM artwork.

Dr. Terry C. Maxwell, Distinguished Biology Professor Emeritus, retired from Angelo State University in 2015.  Over the course of his 38-year career, he contributed to the growth of the Angelo State Natural History Collections, the field of ornithology, and the natural history of the Concho Valley.  But he is most fondly remembered for his teaching, mentoring, and personal interactions with students.  He was loved, and we will miss him.  For more information about Terry, you can request a copy of the 2017 Newsletter of the Angelo State Natural History Collections.

Terry Maxwell in 2010

Dr. Terry Mazwell, wearing one of his signature flatcaps, at the TSM meeting in 2010

With Terry’s loss, the Texas Society of Mammalogists was faced with finding a new artist.  The goal was to find someone that would maintain the integrity of the society while honoring the tradition of Terry’s legacy.  The society did not have to look far, and we are so pleased to announce our new artist – Ms. Krysta Demere.

About Krysta

Four generations of family ranching in West Texas has made Krysta Demere about as Texan as you can be. Her time spent at Angelo State University, however, made her a proud Texan who aspires to be a mammologist, naturalist, and an artist.  Although she displayed interest in art from an early age, Krysta’s time studying bats and various other mammals across the western United State sparked an attentiveness to the illustrations of mammals. Flaming that spark, Krysta had the opportunity to study under and learn from the exceptional naturalist and illustrator, Dr. Terry C. Maxwell. Upon graduating with an M.S. in Biology under the guidance of Dr. Loren K. Ammerman in 2016, Krysta left the San Angelo area and took a position with Texas A&M Natural Resource Institute, College Station, as a Research Associate. Since starting at the institute, Krysta has cooperated on projects such as the Statewide Assessment of Bats Over-wintering in Texas and the Ecological Monitoring of Military Lands for the United States Air Force. It was during this post grad-school “honeymoon phase” that she picked up brush and pen to begin exploring art more fully.    

Terry and Krysta

Krysta celebrating the completion of her Master's thesis with Terry by honoring his tradition - a tequila shot

Krysta with Jax

Krysta conducting field work with her faithful companion, Jax.

What it means to follow in Terry’s footsteps, in Krysta’s words:

“Demere. Are you one of those crazy Demeres from Water Valley?”


Since roll call on the first day of Dr. Maxell’s Zoology class, and him famously picking on the local kid, I always felt that Dr. Maxwell was just as much a friend as he was a professor. A San Angelo native himself, Dr. Maxwell had spent many an hour on our family land, and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with him about not only the natural history of the Concho Valley, but of the natural history of my family’s ranch. As I started drawing, I would send Dr. Maxwell emails of my artwork and excitedly wait for his supportive reaction. The biggest honor in serving as the artist for the Texas Society of Mammalogist is having the opportunity to carry on the exceptional work of Dr. Terry C. Maxwell and knowing he would send his familiar response, “This is great. Carry on the good work.” 

Krysa and her art
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