3 August 2016 - NGRREC summer intern symposium
Our NGRREC Interns presented their posters and seminars over the past 2 days. Awesome work by them all - both today and over the past 2 months. All three of the projects went very well, with much scope for extending them into the future.
July 7, 2016 - Wet lab camera system up and running!
Our wet lab 12-camera tracking system is now up and running!!! Its been a crazy last few months pulling it all together, but what we have is pretty cool. First up postdoc Dave Daversa will be using the system to explore the intraspecific variability of movement, behavior and their effects on species interactions, in salamander larvae and their tree frog prey. New intern Elizabeth Green will be helping Dave with the tracking, and leading the morphometric part of the project.
June 26, 2016 - Iceland!
Tony back from Iceland - rest of the team (postdoc Carl Cloyed and summer intern Tracie Hayes) are still there for another two weeks. We had an amazing time, with a good start on some science. Thanks to Dr. Eoin O’Gorman and Dr. Becca Kordas for hosting us. Using the Hengill geothermal stream system we are using automated tracking stations to explore the effects of temperature on movement and behavior. After quite a few days of testing and trialing, Carl and Tracie are now hard at work collecting data. We hope the Hengill Stream can become an annual event on the labs field season.
12 June, 2016 - Trialling 3D video camera for automated tracking
Summer intern Oleksandr (Alex) Loyko is using a 3D video camera (Microsoft Kinect) to track the movement of behavior of animals. Here we are getting some video of pollinators on the roof of NGRREC, hummingbirds at a bird feeder, and dragonflies over a small pond.
May 29, 2016 - Mobile tracking stations
Only two weeks until we leave for Iceland! Yikes. Tracking stations are progressing well, but still waiting for a few key pieces of equipment to arrive. Initial tests are mostly positive ;).
15 May 2016 - The St Louis Confluence FabLab
The team at St Louis Confluence FabLab (a fabrication laboratory run by Lewis and Clark Community College) have been super helpful in engineering our mobile tracking stations for our Iceland trip. Check out the 3D printed parts! Thanks Luke, Tom and the rest of the gang.
May 1, 2016 - Tyson Research Station
Postdoc Dave Daversa (with a little help from Delilah Dell) checks out the Tyson Research Station, run by Washington University in St Louis. The ponds were dripping with salamanders!
April 20, 2016 - Lab renovations
Environmental climate chambers, and the lab renovations in general, are coming together.
January 2016 - GRC Predator-Prey Interactions (Ventura, California)
Our lab just returned from a fantastic GRC conference in Ventura (CA) on Predator-Prey Interactions: New Frontiers in understanding Predator-Prey Interactions in a Human-Altered World. Some very thought-provoking talks, and great to catch up with some old friends.
December 2015 - NGRREC (Alton, Illinois)
The team trailing some new lab equipment - IR lights that just arrived from smartvisionlights. We got some video (and tracks!) from a number of species, including spiders and tadpoles.
November 2015 - NGRREC (Alton, Illinois)
Work on the lab is progressing fast - climate chambers to be installed over the next few of weeks.
October 2015 - Darwin Chamber Company (St Louis, Missouri)
Recent trip to the Darwin Chambers Company to check up on construction of our new climate chambers. Should be ready by 2016.
October 2015 - Boone Field Station (Defiance, Missouri)
Short field trip today to introduce our new postdoc (Dave Daversa) to some local fauna. Our focus was on marbled salamanders, but you can see we came across quite a diversity of species. Also on hand was Tewodros Biresaw (a postdoc in the lab) and John Crawford (vertebrate ecologist at NGRREC and Dave's co-advisor).
July 2015 - NGRREC (Alton, Illinois)
We trialed some new lab equipment today - a FLIR thermal camera. We plan to use these cameras to more throughly investigate the thermal dependence of movement, behavior and species interactions, with the hope to eventually integrate the images with automated tracking software.
June 2015 - Boone Field Station (Defiance, Missouri)
Our two summer interns hard at work! David (Tilson) and Laura (Cappel) are using camera traps to understand the energetics of vertebrate communities at the Boone Field Station, located about an hours drive from NGRREC. Also on hand was Carl Cloyed (a postdoc in the lab) and John Crawford (vertebrate ecologist at NGRREC).
March 2015 - Moreton Island (Brisbane, Australia)
Automated tracking in the field! Its likely to be a long and bumpy road, but we are confident that in the next couple of years we will be able to track a huge diversity of animals from a range of habitats. Here, we are using GoPro cameras to quantify rates of pollination in a dune ecosystem.