An Introduction to our Summer Research Team!
The BREE Lab is pleased to welcome three new undergraduates as part of the Office of Student Research’s Summer Research Program at CSUSB. At the end of spring semester, we trained everyone on field safety, and how to catch, handle, measure, and take blood samples from lizards. They also learned important husbandry skills for taking care of the lizards in captivity (we have about 50 in our Animal House). They are currently helping Emily (my grad student) run behavioral trials in the lab, looking at how urbanization affects lizards’ responses to competitors. Starting in July, they will then assist Stephanie (my other grad student) on her research, which examines how lizards perceive and respond to the sensory cues of wildfires. In conjunction with helping to collect data for the two graduate students’ thesis research, they will also be conducting their own independent research projects. They will present their results at the end of summer in the program's research symposium. I can't wait to see what we find! Meet our team and learn about each of their project below!
Alexis Gonzalez – Alexis will be looking at whether lizards that have been disturbed by human activity have higher stress hormone levels than those that have not been disturbed. She will be conducting flight initiation distance on lizards and then taking blood samples to measure corticosterone concentrations.
Bayley Stevens – Bayley will be looking at whether urbanization affects male sexual signals. He will be measuring the size of male fence lizard belly and throat patches and comparing them between urban and rural populations.
Joey Guerrero – Joey will be looking at whether urbanization leads to asymmetry in body parts in lizards, that is, whether the left and right sides of the body are less symmetrical in urban populations, which could be due to environmental stressors.