News

Biology major publishes first manuscript on Salamanders

 

Congratulations to Maggie Bliss (C’16) on the publication of her first manuscript resulting from research conducted with biology professor Dr. Kristen Cecala. Maggie’s manuscript entitled “Does habitat disturbance affect the behaviors of Appalachian stream salamanders?” was published online in the journal Herpetological Conservation and Biology[KC1] . Maggie traveled to North Carolina to capture salamanders from disturbed and undisturbed habitats. She proceeded to spend the summer of 2014 working in the lab with research funding from the Yeatman Fund. She evaluated whether individuals selected habitat differently depending on their origin. Individuals from disturbed habitats exhibited higher reactivity to environmental cues than individuals from natural habitats, and these behavioral changes may be linked with having higher rates of injury and poor body condition within disturbed habitats. This research developed a more comprehensive understanding of how near-stream forest removal affects stream salamander populations. Her research has sparked interest in evaluating the consequences of anthropogenic disturbance on the composition of animal populations and how these altered populations may respond to future change. Upon graduation, Maggie hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in behavioral ecology connecting theories of animal personalities to wildlife conservation. To learn more about research conducted in Dr. Cecala’s lab, please visit Dr. Cecala's web page.   

 

Maggie Bliss

                                
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