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.
New and ‘old’ lab faces for 2018: Left to right: (back row): Cole, Buddy, Karl, Edyta, Marcus, Joey (front row) Heidi, Dana, Stephanie, Jared
Congratulations are due to Dana for being among the grad students at TRU to receive a Ken Lepin Award in 2018. The awards are based on outstanding academic achievement, leadership, and research. Dana (yellow shirt in photo) has been very active in conservation both before and during her thesis work.
Largely thanks to our lab, TRU hosted the 2018 annual meeting of the Canadian Herpetological Society. from September 21-24th. In addition to the actual meeting (with over 120 delegates in attendance), a one-day workshop on road ecology and mitigation was held on Friday. Dr. Christine Bishop, a frequent Environment Canada collaborator with our research group, won the career-achievement award from the Society, and the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre (which supports much of our work on snakes in the Okanagan) won a prestigious award for their institutional contribution to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Canada.
Stephanie’s work on the road ecology of rattlesnakes in the South Okanagan was the subject of a recent article released by The Canadian Press. Her work, which included a ‘population viability analysis’ model, shows the pessimistic prospects for her study population unless mitigation actions prove successful in decreasing road mortality [unfortunately, Stephanie herself is not named in the article – but it’s all her thesis research! ]. Click HERE to see the article on the Globe & Mail website.
Stephanie Winton successfully defended her thesis on September 20th. Her external examiner was Dr. Tony Clevenger, a well-known expert on the effects of roads on wildlife. The very next day, Stephanie presented her work during the Roads & Herpetiles Workshop, as part of the annual meeting of the Canadian Herpetological Society. Congratulations, Stephanie!
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
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/