- Dr. and Mrs. John N. Todd Award for Excellence in Teaching, Huntingdon College, 2003
- Wilks Award for Best Student Paper, Association of Southwestern Naturalists, 1997
- Teaching Award, University of Oklahoma Department of Zoology, 1993
- Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Short-Term Fellowship, 1991
Dr. Gier’s past research has focused on animal social behavior, in particular that of reptiles. He is also interested in biogeography and ecological physiology. He serves as a reviewer for academic books and scientific journals, including Copeia and Herpetologica. One particular group of beetles—Cerambycidae, the longhorned beetles—fascinates him, and he has been dabbling in faunistic studies as well as the beginnings of a rudimentary identification manual for all U.S. species of Cerambycids (1,200 in all). He enjoys spending time with his family, taking road-trips, bird-watching, and beetle-collecting. As a nature photographer, he has published a number of photographs which have most recently appeared in the book Lizards: Windows to the Evolution of Diversity by Eric Pianka and Laurie Vitt.
- Gier, P.J. “Iguanid Mating Systems: The interplay among environment, social behavior, and morphology.” Lizard Social Behavior, S.F. Fox, J.K. McCoy, and T.A. Baird, eds. Baltimore: John Hopkins Press, 2003.
- Durtsche, R.D., P.J. Gier, M.M. Fuller, W.I. Lutterschmidt, R. Bradley, C.K. Meier, and S.C. Hardy. “Ontogenetic variation in the autecology of the greater earless lizard, Cophosaurus texanus.” Ecography 20:336-346. 1997.
- Gier, P.J., R.L. Wallace, and R.L. Ingermann. “Influence of pregnancy on behavioral thermoregulation of the northern Pacific rattlesnake, Crotalus viridis oreganus.” Journal of Experimental Biology 145:465-469. 1989.
“It is an honor to teach great students. With Huntingdon students I get to discuss everything from climate change to the biomechanics of a cheetah’s leg. I’ve also traveled with students around the state, as well as to South and Central America and Africa. I enjoy the time I spend with Huntingdon students, whether it be in the classroom, in the field, or in help sessions after class. It’s the challenge—both for me and for the students—that makes it worthwhile. If college were easy it wouldn’t be as exciting.”