Graduate student Lauren Wilson just successfully defended her Masters thesis at Georgia Southern University! Lauren studied coral snake mimicry in the montane tropics in Honduras. Congratulations Lauren!
A new paper on the ecology and natural history of a herpetofaunal assemblage of a northern prairie was just published in the Southwestern Naturalist! The paper is the result of my undergraduate research project over fifteen years ago. Check out the link to read the paper:
Evolutionary history and sex are significant drivers of crayfish demography in resource-limited cave ecosystems
A new collaborative paper on cave crayfishes has been published in the journal Evolutionary Ecology! This work was led by first author Brock Huntsman at the United States Geological Survey. Check out the link to read the paper:
A new paper was just published in the Journal of Experimental Biology! This work started as the first (but not last!) collaboration between the McBrayer and Cox labs. First author and lead on the study Lauren Neel did a fantastic job writing up the work and congratulation to the other authors, John David Curlis and Chase Kinsey. In short, we found evidence of physiological acclimation in an introduced and primarily tropical lizard- the curly-tailed lizard. Check out the link to read the paper!
After four excellent years at Georgia Southern University, the Cox lab has moved south to Florida International University. We now have opportunities for a postdoc and graduate students in the lab. Please let me know if you are interested!
Our collaborative paper "Environmental Heterogeneity and Not Vicariant Biogeographic Barriers Generate Community Wide Population Structure in Desert Adapted Snakes" just made the cover of Molecular Ecology! This paper was led by Edward Myers from the Smithsonian and involved collaborators from multiple other institutions. The paper also got a nice popular write-up in Molecular Ecology. Check out the links below to read the articles:
Patrick Hennessey joins the lab! He hails from the UK, where he got his undergraduate degree at Queen Mary University in London. He comes to the lab with previous experience in tropical ecology of reptiles and amphibians (in Honduras) and morphological evolution (skull morphology of crocodilians). In our lab, he will be studying skull evolution and dietary specialization in snakes.
We just published a new paper on the ontogeny and evolution of decoy coloration in skinks! We found that three skink species lose decoy coloration at a similar size, and that adult-sized clay models with decoy coloration experience high predation rates. Our work suggests that predation plays a role in the evolution of ontogenetic loss of decoy coloration. This work also continues the theme of integrating natural history museums, undergraduate research (undergad author!), and field studies. This work was also a collaboration with Charles M. Watson at Midwestern State University. Check out the link below for more information.
Quinn Taylor just published his Honor's thesis on predation risk in small snakes! We studied predation risk in small snakes by combining museum surveys for attack scars and field studies of predation on clay models. Quinn also wrote an awesome blog piece on the work. Check out the links below to read the articles and the blog post: