Dana took time out from her field season to organize and contribute to another successful World Snake Day event at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre. The Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, and the Osoyoos Indian Band, have been great supporters of our work there, so what better place to start a tradition of WSD on July 16. Click here
Stephanie from our lab has made a short video on dealing (and avoiding) rattlesnake bite, and it’s had a good response on Youtube. Click here!
Valerie Law won the “In A Nutshell” competition at TRU, where senior undergraduates are each allowed 3 minutes to present on a research project. Val worked on the field crew last summer, steering a ‘refugia’ project for rattlesnakes within a a vineyard. She is using the work for her senior Graduating Essay in the Bachelor of Natural Resource Science program. Congrats, Val! Check out the story: http://inside.tru.ca/2018/03/22/rattlesnakes-crack-the-first-nutshell/
Already?!?!? We held our 2017 ‘lab’ holiday social on December 11th, and an amazing collaborative feast took place. Stephanie organized a great rotating gift exchange with everyone walking away with ‘interesting’ little presents. Thanks to everyone for helping with the preparation and cooking. Back row: Karl, Cole, Jared and Anna. Front row: Steph, Cheryl, JoAnne, Sydney, Dana, and Edyta.
More good news from the lab as Sasindu Gunawardana successfully defended her thesis on November 30, 2017. Sasindu created microcosm ‘worlds’ to test how combinations of factors affected the decisions of isopods (‘roly polys’ and sowbugs) to leave and travel away from familiar habitat. Special thanks to Dr. Jim Hare from the University of Manitoba who traveled all the way from Winnipeg to serve as external examiner on the thesis. Congratulations, Sasindu.
We’re pleased to report that Shorf Chowdhury successfully defended his thesis on “The human dimension of Asian elephant conservation in Bangladesh” on July 24th. Thanks to Dr. Cormack Gates for acting as external examiner. Shorf is now back home in Bangladesh resuming his work with the national Forest Service, and trying to keep up momentum with elephant conservation. Congrats, Shorf.
In June I had the very good fortune to help out a colleague witha giraffe project in Kenya. Dusti Becker (along with her husband, Tony Povilitis) runs Life Net Nature, which is doing some amazing conservation work around the world. Dusti has been working with the Maasai people of Kenya to develop sustainable eco-tourism and a giraffe monitoring program. Needless to say, it was an amazing experience for me walking across the savannah, counting giraffes and other large mammals. I was able to check off four of my personal Big Five (Nile crocodile, black mamba, hyrax, and rhino) – just fell short on the honey badger (next time). Check out Life Net Nature for this and similar opportunities: http://lifenetnature.org/
Amazingly, everyone (particularly the exam-laden undergraduates) made an effort to squeeze in a bit of holiday social time just before the Christmas semester break. A great feast was provided through the combined efforts of the group. A special thanks goes to Cheryl for helping with the herculean task of creating yet another Morton Thompson – Pierre Burton blackened turkey. Sköld!
Congrats to Jill and Jared for getting their undergraduate capstone project on snake diets published in The Northwest Naturalist (2016, 97(3): 181-189). Jill and Val also saw an undergraduate summer project appear in print, this one focusing on the diet of the highly-invasive eastern grey squirrel (Canadian Field-Naturalist 2016, 130(3):202-206). Jill is currently working on her MSc in Pat Gregory’s lab at the University of Victoria, while Jared is here in our lab at TRU. Val is completing her undergraduate degree in natural resources at TRU. Congratulations to these three for the large amount of effort they put into getting their work into press – a great learning process.