This past weekend I attended the 2018 Annual Southeast Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation meeting at Unicoi State Park, Helen, GA. I had a stimulating time going to talks, presenting, reconnecting with friends and meeting new people who are enthusiastic about herpetofauna.

The setting for this conference was great. Unicoi State Park had plenty to offer in terms of hiking, herping, and birding. Helen, the town nearby features Bavarian architecture, which reminded me of Wenatchee, Washington.

Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis sauritus)

I was very happy to meet David McLeod (James Madison University) and his students Althea and Sarah. David use to work for many years in Thailand and humbled me by his knowledge of Thai herpetofauna! I also have John Maerz to thank for telling me more about the ICON program at UGA. This rigorous program is an exciting opportunity for anyone who wants to take an integrated approach to conservation.

Coming back from this meeting, I’m energized to learn more about what I can do to conserve herpetofauna in Thailand. Also in the Southeast…but Southeast Asia. But for now…it’s finishing up our manuscript from last summer’s project! I intend to get back to posting more frequently on this blog!



SICB 2018

Happy New Year!

2017 was an amazing year filled with new experiences and friendships. None of it would have been possible without the support of my family and the Warner Lab.

2018 started out fresh with the the Warner Lab taking the 2018 Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting in San Francisco. I gave my first talk about my study on anole nest sites in urban areas. I also attended many great talks and got to catch up with my previous professors from Gonzaga!


October 2017 Field Work

A little late on this one but here are some pictures from our October field work in Palm Coast, FL.


Tim, Jenna, Dan, me, and Renata.


Riding the wake


Prepping in the morning


Sometimes it takes some extra effort to sample as many lizards as we can.



A digest for Hagey et al. 2017 (Evolution)

James, Gopal, and I co-wrote a version of this digest for Travis Hagey’s (and colleagues) study on convergence evolution of toe pads. Check out the paper in Evolution along with our Digest


Miami 1: First wet week

The first week of setting up the experiment was very productive thanks to Dan, Josh, Nathaniel, and James. We set up our study sites (8 plots) and placed the lizard cages we built in a secure space. We will be working in Matheson Hammock and along Red Road (in Pinecrest and Coral Gables neighborhood). We are also very fortunate that Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens agreed to host us.

Other than that, we spent a lot of time herping and being fascinated by the biodiversity down here! However, it has also been raining a lot and there has only been one day that we returned to the apartment with our feet dry.

I had expectations about this city but the more time I spend here, the more I see how unique it is. One thing is for sure, there are not many cities that harbor as many non-native species of plants and animals.

Sphaerodactylus notatus




Embryos Don’t Mind the Heat [repost]

[Repost from Anole annals]

A. cristatellus. Photo by Renata Brandt

Walking down “Red Road” in Pinecrest neighborhood of Miami, FL, it is hard to miss a myriad of lizards on trees and street lamps. Among the many city-dwelling residents, the Cuban brown anole (A. sagrei) and the Puerto Rican crested anole (A. cristatellus) are seen virtually everywhere. While there are evidences that anoles are adapting to urban landscapes, most of past studies have focused on adult stages (Kolbe et al., 2012; Winchell et al., 2016; Lapiedra et al., 2017) and early life stages have been largely ignored. Our recently published study was the first to address how adaptation in the embryonic stage could facilitate establishment of populations in cities.

Continue reading


Herp note 5: Chattahoochee State Park

Last weekend I got to go out to Chattahoochee State Park (border of Florida and Alabama) with the 13 students from Herpetology class lab by Brian Folt. Our goal was to check out the wetlands (possible habitats for the one-toed amphiuma and sirens).

Over the course of two days, we saw over 14 species of herps, some of which I’ve witness for the first time:

  • common snapping turtle
  • Common cooter turtles
  • Squirrel tree frog