Clint McCoy

My name is Clint McCoy and I am a senior biology major at Davidson College. I have been involved with the herp lab since the fall of 2004, and have really enjoyed learning more about herpetological research. I have always enjoyed the outdoors, and being involved with the herpetology lab has given me many opportunities to explore and learn to appreciate the ecology of amphibians and reptiles.



I am currently studying the presence of leech parasites on aquatic turtles. In the summer of 2005, Betsy Failey and I sampled 5 golf course ponds and 5 farm ponds in Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, and Iredell Counties, and caught over 400 turtles. I want to know if there are any relationships between parasite loads and the size, sex, and species of turtle. I also want to determine if leeches have a preference for attachment sites on the host turtles. The presence of leeches can be an indicator of the quality of habitat. The 5 farm ponds we chose to sample this summer with eventually be developed. It will be interesting to see in the future what kind of effect, if any, this will have on the turtle populations as well as the presence of leeches. This fall I will continue analyzing data and prepare a paper to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal.


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