Lab completes new BC Reptiles & Amphibians website!

Finally!  The new BC Reptiles & Amphibians has launched!  The website was a long labour of love by members of our lab, plus Devon Martin, a senior student in Computer Sciences.  The new site replaces the retired BC Reptiles website and combines it with parallel information on amphibians!  This project was a collaborative effort by our TRU group and the BC Ministry of the Environment.  Support for the project came from the BC Government’s Conservation Economic Stimulus Initiative.    Profiles on all the team members can be found by going to the About Us page on the website –     https://bcreptilesandamphibians.trubox.ca/

To celebrate, the team went out for a well-earned dinner.  Missing from the photo is Edyta Marcisz (our GIS expert and map builder) and Leigh Anne Isaac, the Provincial Small Mammal & Herpetofauna Specialist who did so much to make this all happen.  Thanks to everyone involved.

Time to get rolling

Wow, it has been so long since I added in a post to this website, I figured I had better write something to show people I am alive.  I am afraid the covid quagmire has made things really bog down.  However, kudos to the grad students in our lab for ‘keeping the faith’ and pressing on.   During the current academic year we have had a quasi-normal existence in the lab, although of course there are still restrictions on how we move about on campus.  One important thing we achieved was the 25th year of monitoring the small mammal community near Kamloops through fall mark/recapture trapping session.  This has involved hundreds and hundreds of undergrads, as well as effort by graduate students to lead trapping teams.  This year Jade played a large role in keeping the data rolling in.  We got a bit of local publicity over the project, which I’ll try to find and showcase in another post.

A large activity in our lab over the past 8 months has been the re-invention of the BC Reptiles & Amphibian website.  The original website focuses just on reptiles, and was established by myself and a government colleague at least 15 years ago.  Finally we obtained funding to give this a complete overhaul (thanks to my good colleague, Dr. Leigh Anne Isaac, who is also an adjunct at TRU and a co-supervisor on thesis projects in our lab).  This has served to provide much-needed income to many students in the lab, and I think when the final product is released (in a few weeks) it will be a much more valuable resource for anyone interested in reptiles and amphibians in our province.

Even though it is just mid-January, things are already starting to ramp up for field season 2022.  Time to order transmitters, look for research assistants, and plan out the roadmap for the thesis.  I will try to keep these posts more up-to-date as we continue to move along.  Ciao.

 

Lab meeting zooms along…..

The lab had an online meeting in August, in part to ordain Joey’s new son as an official wildlife researcher.  It was a good opportunity to get everyone together for a chat, and in particular the new incoming students (Camille, Rory and Chloe) were able to meet the rest of the gang.

Marcus wins thrice with his rattlesnake photos.

Congrats to Marcus for taking home several awards in the recent TRU research photo competition.  Marcus’ photo of a big male rattler feasting on a red squirrel won best field photo (see below) and the People’s Choice Award.  He also won Best Caption for a second photo two male snakes in combat.  Clearly living with snakes has its virtues.  Read the entire story and see all the other great photos by clicking HERE.  

3rd international Biology of the Pitvipers meeting

Just returned from the 3rd Biology of the Pitvipers meeting in Rodeo, New Mexico.  Dana, Stephanie and Marcus all started the conference off with great presentations (and KL even presented a poster with Val Law).  After the conference a field trip took us all into the saguaro ecosystem which was a far, far cry from our northern rattlesnake study sites.