Summer 2013 - Haley's summer research focused on the short-term effects of artificial night lighting on behavior and performance of anoles, primarily in the Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei). Observations of normally diurnal anoles foraging under artificial lighting at night prompted previous researchers to describe a "night-light niche" for anoles. However, little research exists beyond isolated observations of lizards foraging under lights at night. Haley conducted a two-month experiment at the Montgomery Botanical Center in Coral Gables, Florida. During the first month, she collected pre-treatment data on anole habitat use and behavior during both the day and night. The second month began with the application of the night-light treatment (incandescent floodlights) and she continued to monitor habitat use and behavior as well as several measures of lizard performance. City lighting is dramatic example of human-mediated global change and we are only beginning to understand the consequences for some animals.
Summer 2013 - Jhoset spent the summer investigating the effects of invasive green iguanas (Iguana iguana) on mangrove plant communities and commercial plants at the Humacao Natural Reserve in northeast Puerto Rico. He collected and classified seeds from the reserve, and also collected scat from the field and from captive green iguanas feed Papaya (Carica papaya), which is an important crop at many Caribbean Islands. Approximately 1,200 seeds from both the Humacao Natural Reserve and captive green iguanas were planted and germinated under greenhouse conditions. Impacts of the green iguana invasion in Puerto Rico are debatable among scientists. Quantifying their effects on seed germination may reveal important interactions with local plant communities and help to clarify conservation and mitigation efforts of this species.
August 2012 - Jason and Tobias Uller (University of Oxford) organized a symposium at the 7th World Congress of Herpetology in Vancouver, Canada entitled "Insights from Invasions: Using Exotic Amphibians and Reptiles to Study Ecological and Evolutionary Processes." Featured talks included Rick Shine's (University of Sydney) work on invasive cane toads in Australia and Brad Shaffer's (UCLA) studies of hybridization between invasive and native tiger salamanders in California.
July 2012 - Check out our recent paper on the evolution of thermal tolerance during the introduction of Anolis cristatellus to Miami, FL. [PDF] Co-author Neil Losin's photo made the cover! See more great photos and videos from Neil and Nate Dappen at Day's Edge Productions.
June 2012 - Our lizard room at URI is operational and just in time for the arrival of over one hundred Anolis cristatellus from Miami and Puerto RIco. The first little guys hatched in late June and are doing well.
March 2012 - Our experiment with brown anoles in the Bahamas showing an interaction between founder effects and adaptive differentiation in determining phenotypic values received some nice media coverage. [PDF] [Washington Post] [NSF] [YouTube] [URI] [Anole Annals] [Live Science] [San Francisco Chronicle] ...and if you speak German!