Devynn Birx-Raybuck

I am a senior biology major at Davidson College and have been involved with the DC herpetology lab since January 2008. My research focuses on the use of urban retention ponds by breeding anurans (frogs and toads) and how several factors at a landscape scale may influence species occupancy at these man-made ponds. When I am not working on my research or publication, I collect animals at the drift fence, participate in community outreach events, and help other lab members with their research projects.
B. fowleri
My interest in ecology led me to the School for Field Studies Program in the Turks and Caicos, where I learned about marine ecosystems and resource management. I also conducted research on a shallow bay in South Caicos and its potential to act as an important nursery for juvenile fishes. I am also interested in microbiology and epidemiology, and have travelled to Bangkok, Thailand to conduct HIV/AIDS research for the U.S. Military. After graduating, I plan to seek a Master's in Public Health.

WORKING ABSTRACT: Urbanization is widespread throughout the United States and often negatively affects wildlife populations.  Despite this, certain urban features, such as retention ponds, may provide habitat for amphibians.  We examined the influence of landscape variables on retention pond use by breeding anurans.  We used occupancy modeling to determine the effects of these factors on anuran occupancy at retention ponds. Pond age was positively associated with occupancy, whereas distance to the nearest riparian zone had a negative relationship with anuran occupancy.  Although we found retention ponds provide calling habitat for anurans, we caution that it is still unknown whether or not these ponds are sufficient to sustain populations in urban areas.

R. clamitans
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