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  • Bree Putman

Don't be alarmed! We are not keeping venomous animals on campus!

Cover boards refer to any object that a small vertebrate animal could use for cover. Many reptiles and amphibians like to hide under objects with dark and moist microenvironments. Cover boards, made from plywood, carpet, or tin roofing material, create this favorable habitat for these species. Herpetologists systematically set out cover boards as a way to measure herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) presence and abundance in an area. You simply set out the boards, wait for some time, then lift up the boards to see what you've found!

My lab is interested in looking at the effects of urbanization on herpetofauna so we have deployed eight boards across campus to compare with what we find at more natural sites. We are interested in how the microhabitat characteristics (such as temperature and humidity) also vary under the boards and whether these attributes affect what animals we find.


Please do not move or disturb our boards! This will decrease their effectiveness at attracting animals.


Which species do you think live on campus? Stay tuned to find out!

Most professional meetings were cancelled this summer due to COVID, but the Animal Behavior Society hosted a virtual meeting which attracted more than 1,700 participants! Two BREE Lab undergraduates presented preliminary results of their research projects. Nina presented in the Communication 4 session on how urban lizards have larger signaling patches than non-urban lizards. Emily presented in the Predation and Foraging 2 session on how she is using citizen science to study rattlesnake foraging behavior. It was both their very 1st conference and they did an excellent job presenting their work! Congrats to Nina and Emily!!


Welcome to the new BREE Lab website and blog!


After a stressful first year at CSUSB (wildfires, power outages, campus shut downs, a global pandemic, social unrest, etc), the lab is finally starting to come together. We are currently working on setting up a lizard room in our university Animal House and on acquiring permits and various approvals to start research activities. In the meantime, I am pleased to reveal the newly created lab logo (by Evgen Yurevich). He did an excellent job combining all the lab's research foci into a bright, fun, and approachable image. T-shirt and stickers coming soon!