Thomas was a doctoral student working in the Smith lab under Drs. Smith & Campbell. He grew up in Germany and Bolivia, but has been living and studying in the United States since the mid-90s. He received an M.S. from Southeastern Louisiana University, where he studied evolutionary biology and systematics under Dr. Brian Crother. He conducted his thesis work on the morphological systematics of dispholidine colubrids. He also holds a B.S. and an M.B.A. from the University of New Orleans in Management Information Systems from a previous life. Thomas is generally interested in the phylogenetic relationships, historical biogeography, and trait evolution of advanced snakes (Colubroidea). His research focused on the systematics of multiple lineages of African snakes. He also works on a Central American clade of coral snakes (Micrurus), and has been involved in an NSF-funded project that studies the herpetological diversity of Mexico. His field experience encompasses work in North and Central America, as well as East and Southern Africa. Aside from his academic interests in snakes, he is also involved in conservation and education, and frequently gives talks to interested groups. Thomas further participates in various legislative aspects involving reptiles, and played a key role in implementing a practical permit system for keeping potentially dangerous snakes in Louisiana, as part of the Louisiana Reptile and Amphibian Task Force.