Lizard Lab word cloud

Lizard Lab word cloud based on titles and key words from about 35 recent papers. Martin made this instead of working on an important research grant. It somehow seemed much more fun at the time. It does nicely sum up the research in the lab . . . → Read More: Lizard Lab word cloud

Territoriality in a snake

While there are snakes that have been shown to be territorial in an ecological context, such as Taiwanese kukrisnakes which defend sea turtle nests (citation below), territoriality in a sexual selection context has never been demonstrated in a snake. Until now. Jonno Webb has been studying broadheaded and small-eyed snakes in Morton National Park, . . . → Read More: Territoriality in a snake

New African flat lizard named for David Attenborough

David Attenborough has had, and continues to have, a remarkable career making documentaries about the natural world. To this end, he has inspired generations of biologists. We were very pleased when he turned his attention to amphibians and reptiles for the making of the series Life in Cold Blood. And we were particularly happy . . . → Read More: New African flat lizard named for David Attenborough

Jacky Dragons have labile displays and don’t discriminate among populations

Marco Barquero’s hard work has paid off! For his PhD, Marco travelled far and wide in his quest to study signalling in Jacky Dragons. Chapter 1 has just been published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. Marco studied three populations for which we had genetic data (thanks to Mitzy Pepper and Scott Keogh at . . . → Read More: Jacky Dragons have labile displays and don’t discriminate among populations

Do you study colour? Hot (and warm) off the press!

Interested in colour signals and wondering about the best approaches to researching colour and what you should be reporting? Two recent papers from members of the lab and fellow researchers at Macquarie and elsewhere should help! In the first paper, Kemp et al. provide a framework for studying animal colour. This is not a . . . → Read More: Do you study colour? Hot (and warm) off the press!

Quoll school is in session..

Scientists (including Lizard Lab associate Jonno Webb) have been trying to ameliorate the impact of toxic cane toads on the threatened northern quoll. They have been doing this using taste aversion learning, where quolls are fed nausea-inducing cane toad sausages from which they develop a negative association and thereafter avoid. There is evidence that . . . → Read More: Quoll school is in session..

Welcome Dr. Feng Xu!

The Lizard Lab welcomes our friend and colleague Dr. Feng Xu, visiting from Xinjiang, China, for a year! Feng is visiting from the Key Laboratory of Biogeography and Bioresource in Arid Land (KLBB), Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). His research has three main areas: 1) conservation biology of . . . → Read More: Welcome Dr. Feng Xu!

PhD opportunity: social intelligence and the evolution of brain size in lizards

We are looking for a PhD student to work on an Australian Research Council grant testing for social intelligence in Egernia skinks.

Here is some background: Uncovering the evolution of intelligence is one of science’s greatest challenges. Social intelligence theory suggests that sociality selects for increasingly sophisticated cognition, but this theory is heavily biased . . . → Read More: PhD opportunity: social intelligence and the evolution of brain size in lizards

PhD Student: Evolution of colour signals in lizards

We are looking for a PhD student interested in studying the evolution of colour signals in lizards. The overarching aim of the project is to study adaptive co-variation across and between lizard colour patterns/signals in relation to socio-ecological factors (e.g. mating system, environmental conditions) and individual traits (e.g. age, sex, size, competitive ability, health . . . → Read More: PhD Student: Evolution of colour signals in lizards

Lizard Lab book club: Review of ‘How to make a zombie’

Review by James Baxter-Gilbert

How to Make a Zombie: The Real Life (and Death) Science of Reanimation and Mind Control by Frank Swain. 2013. 256 pp. Oneworld Publications. ISBN 978-1-85168-944-6. If the concept of population dynamics has taught us anything it is that whenever a population expands far beyond an ecosystem’s ability to sustain . . . → Read More: Lizard Lab book club: Review of ‘How to make a zombie’