In September we conducted our 27th consecutive year of small mammal live-trapping at our three long-term study blocks. This work largely is powered by the senior undergraduate students in the Natural Resource Science program. This year, however, Kara from our lab played a leader role in coordination, and used the opportunity to put out radio-collars as part of her research on deer mice and voles. Afterwards there was a combination pancake breakfast – trap bleaching session at Karl’s house. Lot’sa fun.
Two big accomplishments in the lab to report: On September 27, 2023, Chloe defended her thesis on “Western Rattlesnake Migration and Habitat Use in British Columbia, Canada”. One of her chapters already appears in print (see Can. J. Zool. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjz-2022-0173). Also on the rattlesnake front, Veronica took top prize for student presentations (15-minute category) at the 2023 Canadian Herpetological Society annual meeting in Ottawa. Her talk was entitled “Intra- and interspecific hibernation site selection of three sympatric snake species”. Congrats to both of them for helping keep rattlesnakes at the forefront 🙂
The World Snake Day celebration at our Osoyoos rattlesnake study site (in partnership with the Osoyoos Indian Band) was a great success, thanks to the work of Lindsay and the other snakers on the team (Calen, Erin, and Caroline). Good turnout and a lot of people learnt a lot about snakes.
Wow, I fell way behind on updating the postings to this site. So here’s a few highlights:
Back in March Lily won Best Poster at the Master of Science Showcase at TRU. Good going. That just might be two years in a row that our lab has won the competition (Camille won the previous year!). Lily also won a prestigious BC Graduate Scholarship!
The first paper from Chloe’sthesis has been published! See Western Rattlesnake spring migration in British Columbia: a comparative study of juveniles and adults. Canadian Journal of Zoology 2023: https://doi.org/10.1139/cjz-2022-0173
At the end of March, no less than 7 members of our lab (Jade, Chloe, Camille, Rory, Alexis, Julien and Kyla) made it to the combined meeting in Victoria of the BC Chapter and Canadian Chapter of the Wildlife Society. Marcus (a lab alumni) also appeared! Everyone presented! The 2024 meeting of the BC Chapter will be right here in Kamloops!
Karland Veronica appeared in an episode of CBC’s Planet Wonder with host Joanna Wagstaff. The episode was entitled “Do we need to be cold-blooded for our warm future” and it covered, among a number of things, how animals may adapt (or be adapted) to deal with a changing climate. You can watch the 25-minute show by clicking right here.
In May, Karl ticked off #1 on his bucket list by taking a trip to Indonesia to see the magnificent Komodo Dragons.
That’s all for now. I’ll try to stay on top of this better from now on. Pip pip, tally ho.
Our lab’s December Holiday Social was well attended in 2022: A couple recent alumni dropped in, and even the Honours Students managed to find time amongst their end-of-semester exams! A superb potluck dinner was created.
In mid-August, Lily presented a poster on her thesis work at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. She entitled it “How does translocation affect the movement and survival of a population of gophersnakes at their northern range limit?”.
In July, members of our lab attended the 4th international Biology of the Pitvipers meeting in Rodeo, New Mexico. Presenting on their work were Chloe, Jade, Veronica, and Matt (Matt has since departed the lab for a position with the Penticton Indian Band). Karl also gave a presentation summarizing the past two-decades of work by the lab on rattlesnakes. Afterwards the group was superbly hosted by Mike and Denise Cardwell at their home in the Sonoran Desert on the outskirts of Tuscon, Arizona.