Davidson College Herpetology Laboratory Research

Research in the Davidson College Herpetology Lab focuses on the conservation, ecology, and physiology of reptiles and amphibians. Funding for research comes from a variety of sources, including the National Science Foundation, Davidson College, Duke Energy and Associated Colleges of the South. Please click here for information regarding funding. Davidson College places a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, thus students in the Davidson College Herpetology Lab have the opportunity to develop research projects based on their interests and take the primary role in all aspects of their research, including developing specific questions and hypotheses, experimental design, field work, statistics, and writing manuscripts for publication. Davidson College Herpetology Lab research has resulted in over 100 publications since 1998, with approximately 60 of these publications since 2006. We frequently present results of studies at regional, national and international meetings. Find out more about presentations and specific research projects by visiting our staff pages and publications page. Public outreach is a very important component of our research and most students in the Davidson College Herpetology Lab have the opportunity to share their research findings with the general public, K-12 school groups and other organizations. Please click here to find out more about our outreach efforts.

General Research Themes and Examples  
Effects of anthropogenic disturbances on reptile and amphibian populations
  • Response of stream salamander populations to urbanization within stream catchments
  • Population ecology of semi-aquatic turtles in golf course ponds
  • Impacts of flow regulation and urbanization on reptiles and amphibians
  • Habitat use, habitat selection and movements in natural and altered environments
  • Movements and habitat selection of bog turtles, mud turtles and box turtles in fragmented habitats
  • Dispersal and movement of stream salamanders in first order streams
  • Long-term population monitoring and conservation
  • Biology of invasive burmese pythons in the Florida Everglades
  • Diamondback terrapin population ecology at Kiawah Island, South Carolina
  • Environmental influences on thermal biology and physiology
  • Abiotic influences on anuran calling behavior
  • Thermal ecology of semi-aquatic turtles and invasive burmese pythons
  • Development of innovative techniques to study reptiles and amphibians
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of various amphibian anesthesia
  • Rapid assessment techniques for diamondback terrapins in southeastern U.S. salt marshes
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