Hi everyone! Those of us in the Lizard Lab have been so busy studying lizards that we haven’t posted on our blog in a long time. What have we been doing? We’ve been catching lizards, measuring lizard muscles and brains, studying hard in our classes, and talking with other scientists about our work. It’s been a lot of fun!
Last summer, a group of us traveled around the Dominican Republic to study how lizards there behave and reproduce. The Dominican Republic is a country in the Caribbean Sea, and it shares a big island called Hispaniola with the country of Haiti. The Dominican Republic has beaches, mountains, deserts, and cities, and we worked with lizards in all of those places. On one of our days off, we visited a waterfall and took the group photo above.
In the fall, we went to a meeting of the Texas Herpetological Society. This society is a group of scientists in Texas who study reptiles (like lizards, snakes, turtles, and crocodiles) and amphibians (like frogs and salamanders). All of the college students in our group gave a presentation about their research, either by giving a 15 minute talk to the whole meeting, or by talking about a poster with their results to smaller groups who came by. Here’s a picture of us at lunch that day!
In January, we went to another meeting – this time we traveled to Portland, Oregon, to attend the meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. That’s a big name for a society! This group of scientists study how all of the parts of an animal work together, and why there are so many different kinds of plants and animals. Again, the members of the Lizard Lab gave talks and posters about their work. Here’s a photo of Jake with his poster in Portland:
During all of this time, the students in the lab have been working hard to learn new things about lizards – how they eat their food, how they survive in hot temperatures, and how their brains process information – and they’ve been writing papers and taking tests in their college classes. We’ve also visited several fifth grade classrooms to talk about lizards, and learned that kids are pretty great scientists!
Now, we’re starting to get ready for this summer. We’ll have new students in the lab, and we’ll be starting new projects. We’re also writing a lot of new blog posts, so you’ll hear more about all of our work in the next few weeks!