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Herpetology

Our research focus is on understanding the roles that amphibians and reptiles play in southeastern ecosystems with the goal of informing land management, restoration, and conservation. The longleaf pine forest, embedded seasonal wetlands, and perennial streams at Ichauway support high amphibian and reptile diversity with more than 80 species, including several species found only in longleaf pine-dominated forests. Surprisingly little is known about many of these species. Thus, our early work focused on answering basic ecological questions about spatial ecology and habitat use for individual species, and more recently, we are investigating patterns of species and genetic diversity in amphibians across landscapes. Our longest-running research project is a collaboration with the Wildlife Ecology lab examining predator-prey relationships; in this study, our lab targets upland snakes (predators) and a species of conservation concern, the gopher tortoise (prey). Twenty graduate students from six universities have worked in our lab since 2001. We transfer information through outreach events and publications, peer-reviewed publications, presentations at professional meetings, workshops, and field classes.

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Focal Areas of Research

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