Recent News:

 

March 2015 was a big month for funding!:

Great news on funding! Grants/Awards listed below:


CUNY Graduate Center Dissertation Fellowship Competition - 2015-1016 - $22,000 stipend + tuition
Doctoral  Student Research Grant - 2015-2016 - $1479
NSF-SSB  Workshop Travel Award - Evolution 2015 Guarujá Brazil - $1750

Changes to this website:

19 Feb 2015 - We are now live at SnakeEvolution.org! Make sure to update your bookmarks and links!

New domains coming up and new email address - Smoochy@SnakeEvolution.org

Spring Update:

Hope to see everyone at the Evolution meeting in June! I'll be presenting results of my work on Lampropeltis calligaster, which challenge a few major assumptions in North American historical biogepgraphy.

Spring 2014 - We've received some interesting tissues and submitted some papers recently. Check back soon for more!

"Field Work in the Southeastern United States - Spring 2013"
Thanks in part to a grant from the AMNH, I was able to collect for a month in the Southeastern United States for a handful of important projects. The collecting trip resulted in securing 503 tissues including 120 intact vouchers (road kill in good shape) from sampling gaps in the region. Below is a map of collection localities. I was fortunate enough to find many Farancia, including F. erytrogramma, and three county records.

"World Congress of Herpetology- 8-14 August 2012"
My first formal presentation of the work I've done so far on Lampropeltis calligaster took place on the UBC campus in Vancouver, Brittish Colombia. It was great meeting many of the folks I had only emailed before and catching up with those I don't see often enough. Looking forward to next summer's meetings.

"CSI Today Features Eastern Foxsnake Publication- 16 July 2012"
CSI Today featured an article on my work in the lab, and the now famous foxsnake.
http://csitoday.com/2012/07/record-breaking-snake-found-by-csi-biology-phd-student/

"Bay City Times Features Eastern Foxsnake Publication- 23 May 2012"
The Bay City News released an article MLive concerning the large foxsnake with the large clutch.
http://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/2012/05/survival_of_the_fittest_rare_e.html

"Press Release by USFWS Features Eastern Foxsnake Publication- May 2012"
In a press release issued on May 10th by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, my publication with Kile Kucher on a new maximum clutch size in Pantherophis vulpina (Eastern Foxsnake) was heralded as a "record breaker". The snake had a record number of eggs - 34 - wheras the previous record was 29. You can view the release in PDF form HERE, and the note itself HERE.

"Field Work in the Southeastern United States - Spring 2012"
Thanks in part to the Gilder School and and in house CUNY grant, I was able to collect for three weeks of in the Southeastern United States for a handful of important projects. The collecting trip resulted in securing 249 tissues including 60 intact road killed vouchers (mostly snakes) from sampling gaps in the region. Below is a map of collection localities.

"Costa Rica Field Work - March 2012"
I recently spent time at Cano Palma BIological Station with a Alex Figureoa, a collaborator from UNO. We were collecting tissue samples from herps for his work on arboreal snakes, as well as my own interests in cryptic diversity. Overall, we got 39 snakes in just under two weeks. Here is a partial list of the snakes: Tretanorhinus nigroluteus, Bothrops asper, Imantodes cenchoa, Sibon annulatus, Bothriechis schlegelii, Corallus annulatus, Urothecha euryzona, Micrurus alleni, Leptodeira septentrionalis, Ninia sebae, Psuestes poecilinotus, Ungaliophis panamensis and Mastigodryas melanolomus.

"Grant Awarded - 16 December 2011"
A proposal from the CUNY Graduate Center for collection of herp tissues around the Mississippi River and in the Southeast United States was awarded to me for the full amount of $1500. This will extend collection efforts for my dissertation work this Spring by at least two weeks of strenuous collecting.

"Publication - 12 October 2011"
A note on tail bifurcation in Plestiodon fasctiatus (Common FIve-lined Skink) coauthored with Chris Stark of Midland Michigan was accepted for publication in the Natural History Notes section of Herpetological Review. Print publication is tenatively scheduled for March 2012.

"Top of the Line Field Gear - 3 October 2011"
COAST Portland has generously outfitted the Species Discovery Project with the best LED headlamps and flashlights in the buisiness. In my experience these lights are by far the best and hold up very well in the field. Check out their website HERE!

"Publication - 19 September 2011"
A note on tail bifurcation in Gekko monarchus (Warty House Gecko) coauthored with my wife was accepted for publication in the Natural History Notes section of Herpetological Review.

"Publication - 17 August 2011"
A natural history note written by myself and Kile Kucher of the United States Fish and Wildlife service recording new maximum clutch size for Pantherophis vulpina (Eastern Foxsnakes) was accepted for publication in the Natural History Notes section of Herpetological Review. Below you'll find a photo of myself with this record breaking snake from 2009. The average clutch size of this species is reported as 14.4 eggs with a previous maximum of 29. This individual had a clutch of 34 eggs.


"Borneo Field Expedition - 25 July - 7 August 2011"
Two weeks spent in Singapore and Borneo yielded quite a few herps. Among the multitude of herps, we found 5 species of snake, listed as follows;. Oligodon octolineatus (Eight-lined Kukri Snake), Tropidolaemus wagleri, (Wagler's Pit Viper), Dendrelaphis pictus (Striped Bronze-Back), Dendrelaphis formosus (Elegant Bronze-Back), and Gonyosoma oxycephalum (Red-Tailed Racer). You'll find photos interspersed in the photo section. There are also plenty of new Singapore and Borneo-endemic amphibian and lizard pictures to be found there.

 

 

 

 

 

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"Field Notes - 16 July 2011"
Last few days in Michigan around my wedding went great. Overall, the trip back for the wedding yielded 30 tissue samples collected in my small periods of free time. A Box Turtle turned up in Midland County, last recorded in the area in the year 2000. It certainly was a beauty. See below for a small photo and a larger one in the photos section. Luckily enough, he appeared during our outdoor photo shoot for the wedding, so he makes it into a few of the pictures. Very excited to get out to Borneo on the 22nd. Hopefully we will have good luck and the snakes will be plentiful.


 

 

 

 

 

Below are the collection localities for the 30 samples.

 

"Field Notes - 11 July 2011"
In the field in Northern lower Michigan today. Scattered Tstorms in the morning developing into warm, overcast weather in the afternoon. Went out with Chris Stark, a friend from the Chippewa Nature Center, where I will be getting married on Friday. We were targetting Smooth Green Snakes and Northern Watersnakes. We were successful. Overall, we found 30 snakes. Here's the breakdown: 15 Nerodia sipedon (Northern Watersnake), 2 Opheodrys vernalis (Smooth Greensnake), 7 Thamnophis sirtalis (Common Gartersnake), 6 Thamnophis sauritus (Ribbon Snake).

 


 

 

 

 


"Field Notes - 26 June 2011"
In Eastern Pennsylvania today. Weather didn't conform to the forecast, but still ended up with 16 snakes. We tallied 4 Pantherophis allegheniensis (Black Ratsnake), 3 Nerodia sipedon (Northern Watersnake), 3 Thamnophis sirtalis (Common Garter Snake), 3 Agkistrodon contortrix (Copperhead), 2 Coluber constrictor(Black Racer) and one Heterodon platyrhinos (Eastern Hognose). The hognose, pictured below in standard and "death feigning" repose, was a particularly cool find. Larger photos in the "Photos" section to the right.


 

 

 

 

 

 

"Field Notes - 18 June 2011"

Out in the Pines in southern NJ today. Temps peaked at around 84 at 2PM. Mostly sunny until clouds late. Jamie Burgoon, (a masters student working in our lab on phylogeography of Black Racers) and I found: Thamnophis sirtalis, Nerodia sipedon, Storeria occipitomaculata, 2 Coluber constrictor, 2 Plestiodon fasciatus, 3 Terrapene carolina, Malaclemys terrapin, and Chrysemys picta, along with more Anaxyrus fowleri than we could count.

Below: Jamie with a particularly pretty Thamnophis sirtalis that she found under the first board she flipped, and the snake itself.

"Field Notes - 7 June 2011"

Out in the field today for about 5 hours in PA. 74-84 degrees, partly sunny. Collaborator and I found 7 Pantherophis allegheniensis, 6 Agkistrodon contrortrix, 2 Coluber constrictor, 2 Lampropeltis triangulum, 2 Thamnophis sirtalis and one Nerodia sipedon.

"We Roll the Nickels" - 11 May 2011

Ed Myers and I have been awarded the Roosevelt Memorial Grant from the American Museum of Natural History for lab and field work on New World snakes.

"Field Work in the Southeast Goes Well" - 27 April 2011

I have just returned from a solo trip to the Southeastern United States to legally collect tissues from snakes for a battery of projects with my collaborators. Over the course of the 10 day trip I returned with 150 tissue samples from 33 species for phylogenetic analysis. Among the animals I found was a DOR Lampropeltis extenuata from Gilchrist County. Head over to the photos section for a peek.

Here's a map of collection locations from the trip:

 

Check out the new website for the Species Discovery Project at: http://www.species-discovery.org/