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  • Writer's pictureBree 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!

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Congrats to Emily and Elmer for being awarded the Carl Gans Travel Fellowship to attend and present at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in Norfolk, Virginia this summer! The award is administered by the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR). Emily and Elmer are Master's students in my lab and will present on their research which looks at the effects of urbanization on herpetofauna in Southern California. This will be their first time attending a large national scientific research conference. I am excited to share this experience with them!

  • Writer's pictureBree Putman

BREE Lab Master's student, Emily Urquidi, finished fall semester strong by successfully proposing her thesis research! She is the first grad student to propose in the BREE Lab. Yay, Emily! Now, she moves onto the hard work of analyzing her lizard trial videos, conducting corticosterone assays, and performing white blood cell counts. Stay tuned to see what she finds out on how urbanization affects native species' ability to compete with novel competitors. PS - check out her awesome proposal flyer below!

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