This is the fourth post in this new series from SSAR! Our members often join SSAR to learn more about the organisms that fascinate them. Each month, we are excited to profile the herpetological interest of one of our community members and to feature their focal amphibian or reptile species/system.
Featured SSAR member: Jennifer Deitloff
What is your study species (or species group) and why is it interesting?
I work with a lot of different species, but most commonly Plethodon cinereus and other salamanders that can be found in the Northeast US. I think salamanders are interesting because their behavior is much more complicated that what most people think. They can recognize other individuals, form socially monogamous pair bonds, and have some parental care.
What is it about this species that you study?
I typically study different aspects of behavioral ecology and how it relates to morphology and/or sexual selection.
Who are you, how did you get where you are, and what’s your story?
I’m an Associate Professor at Lock Haven University, which is a small undergraduate university in central Pennsylvania. I’m currently in my 5th year, and I really enjoy my position and the area where I live. I was an undergrad at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and received my PhD at Iowa State University. I completed a postdoc at Auburn, and a second postdoc (unrelated to herpetology) at ISU. I also taught at Grand View University in Des Moines before accepting my position at LHU.
Why are you a member of SSAR?
Since graduate school, I’ve been a member of SSAR and/or other herp societies. I’ve been consistently a member in more recent years. I involve many undergraduates in my research and strongly encourage them to attend annual meetings. For this reason, I really appreciate the travel and grant funds available for these students.