Research

 

 

 

herpetology, population ecology, conservation genetics, natural history of the Sonoran Desert, evolutionary physiology, learning assessment, STEM education pedagogy

 

 

 

 

 Recent projects include

  • Natural history and population ecology of Gila monsters (Heloderma suspectum) in and near Saguaro National Park. Several students, including Brian Park, Nick Massimo, Darren Anderson, Kris Ratzlaff, Kim Baker, Tommaso Cioni, Sarah Humphrey, Nick Gengler (NAU), Corina Yeh, have been instrumental in this research. Don Swann of the National Park Service and Cecil Schwalbe (USGS) have been key participants as well. Cooperation with citizen scientists has allowed us to greatly increase the number and distribution of Gila monster observations. Support from the Friends of Saguaro National Park, from the Desert Southwest Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit, and from the Western National Parks Association funds our work.
  • Microsatellite development for study of population structure and conservation genetics of canyon treefrogs and Gila monsters with Taylor Edwards, Michael Hess, Dave Edmunds, Victoria Farrar, Lauren Harris, the Tucson Herpetological Society and others.
  • Assessment of outreach and service learning efforts of UA College of Science faculty, staff, and students.
  • Prevalence of chytrid fungus among populations of canyon treefrogs (Hyla arenicolor) (Kim Baker, MS 2010, UA SNRE).
  • Functional morphology and evolution of the vertebrate inner ear using the diversity present among lizard taxa as a study system. Chris Bergevin, formerly post-doc in Math at U. Arizona and now at York University (postdoc at Columbia University), is the project leader. David Velenovsky of UA Speech, Hearing, and Language Sciences is also very involved in the project.