Rory spent much of May and June as a visiting scientist in southern France. There he worked with longtime collaborators (and fellow ISU alums) Eric Gangloff and Antonio Cordero, and new collaborators Fabien Aubret and Essie Rodgers. For project TOPS, they quantified temperature-oxygen performance surfaces in common wall lizards (Podarcis muralis). It was an amazing time and seems to have resulted in some very cool data (more soon). Check out the video above and Eric’s most recent post on his site, French Mountain Lizards, for more!
Rory was invited to give a guest lecture on his current research for the students and faculty at CSU San Marcos. All of the students and faculty were incredibly welcoming and the work that they are doing at CSUSM is impressive. Among other strengths, they have a great animal physiology group and Rory had a blast nerding out about thermal limits, stress, niche models, and more (not to mention checking out the alligators in Dr. John Eme’s lab). Moreover, it was a mini Janzone reunion because Dr. Arun Sethuraman, one of Rory’s former labmates from the Janzen Lab at Iowa State, is an Assistant Professor at CSUSM. Arun’s lab is doing some really cool work developing population genomic methods and exploring the effects of competition on population genetic patterns. Hopefully we can get him to Fresno State soon!
Recently, Dr. Mike Angilletta visited CSU Fresno from Arizona State. During the day on Friday, he met with the lab and others on campus and then gave an excellent seminar on how behavior might (and might not) buffer ectotherms from environmental temperature changes associated with climate change.
After the seminar, Mike, Rory, Dalton, and Dr. Alija Mujic (brand new mycologists in our Biology department at CSU Fresno) hopped in Rory’s Subaru and headed to Sequoia National Park. We backpacked Redwood Canyon which has the largest remaining grove of Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) left on the planet! Despite it being autumn and us being at ~6000 ft elevation, we saw a few very impressive herps. On the first night we found a beautiful Sierra Nevada Ensatina Salamander (Ensatina escholtzii platensis) on the trail. This was a special treat because it inspired a fun conversation about ring species, of which Ensatina salamanders are an excellent example. It also was the first time any of us had come across the Sierra Nevada component of this classic ring species. It is always fun to see something you mostly know from textbooks! The next morning, we found a large adult Rubber boa on the trail (Charina bottae). We didn’t talk as much about this one, but everyone had to pose for pictures with this lovely snake!
All in all, it was a great break from the grind and reminder of why we do what we do as biologists!
Dalton Leibold is joining us after completing his BS degree at the University of Central Oklahoma and working in Troy Baird's lab researching collared lizard social behavior. That's right, both Rory and Dalton are Baird alums! Dalton is broadly interested in behavioral ecology, developmental biology, and conservation research. There are lots of potential things for him to do in the lab. Stay posted to see where his research goes!
We have a new paper out in Integrative and Comparative Biology on mechanisms of thermal tolerance in reptiles and amphibians. This is the culmination of many years of collaboration between Rory Telemeco and Friend of the Lab, Eric Gangloff. In the paper, we propose a new(ish) mechanisms that could underlie thermal tolerance which we call the HMTL (hierarchical mechanisms of thermal limitation) hypothesis. Current students in the lab are working to test novel predictions of this hypothesis right now!
Check out the full paper here, or email for a PDF. You can also read Eric's blog on the paper here.