Start 2016 doing good for amphibian research! Two days left for several of these amphibian research campaigns at Instrumentl, a science crowd-funding site, where there are currently 19 projects to choose from. To mention just a few: research on the deadly salamander fungus (Bsal) to breeding ecology in Bhutan’s Amolops to educational outreach and innovative new field techniques with frog call monitorin by cell phone for the recently descirbed Rana kauffeldi.
The abstract submission site is now open for the 2016 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in New Orleans, LA held July 6th to 10th!
The abstract submission form and instructions are available here.
You will be required to register for the site. Once you have registered, you will get a reply with instructions on how to submit your abstract. Please read the instructions carefully, as there are some changes from last year.
The abstract submission site will close on 18 March 2016.
As has become more common at scientific conferences in recent years, there is now an option to give an oral “lightning” talk. These are 5 minute talks, 10 slides maximum, and no questions from the audience following the talk. These short form talks are ideal for presenting preliminary research or for putting out a call for data, feedback, or collaboration.
We look forward to seeing everyone in NOLA!
Would you like to contribute to SSAR but don’t have the money to spare? If you use Amazon.com you can help give back to the society every time you make a purchase! Just use this link to go to Amazon Smile which will make a small contribution to an organization of your choosing every time you make a purchase.
Once on the site you should be prompted to choose a charity. If you are not prompted you can click the link below the search bar that says “Supporting” indicated in the first screenshot below and click “Change your charity”:
After you click that link you will be taken to a page to search for organizations as is shown in this next screen shot:
Simply type “Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles” into the search bar and hit search. The search should load a page similar to the following screenshot with SSAR as the first organization listed:
Simply click “Select” and you will be supporting SSAR every time you make a purchase from Amazon! Just make sure you use the Amazon Smile link every time you shop. Amazon will normally ask you if you want to go to Amazon Smile if you attempt to use the regular Amazon site after you have selected a charity.
In honor and memory of Dr. David J. Morafka, distinguished herpetologist and authority on North American gopher tortoises, the Desert Tortoise Council, with the aid of several donors, has established a monetary award to help support research that contributes to the understanding, management and conservation of tortoises of the genus Gopherus in the southern United States and Mexico: G. agassizii,G. morafkai, G. berlandieri, and G. flavomarginatus. The deadline for submission of applications is 1 December 2015. Full details and an application form can be found here:
The Dr. Margarita Metallinou Postdoctoral Travel Award
Dr. Margarita Metallinou was a talented, up and coming evolutionary biologist and herpetologist who was tragically killed in July 2015 while doing fieldwork in Zambia. She had been scheduled to present her latest work at the SSAR meeting later that month at the University of Kansas. The suddenness of her loss has shaken the entire scientific community who lost a promising and gifted researcher as well as a vibrant role-model for aspiring female scientists. To commemorate her legacy, SSAR has launched an effort to establish a Postdoctoral Travel Award endowment in her name.
This permanent endowment will allow post-PhD students from any part of the world to attend a scientific conference in the USA, as Margarita had planned to do. They will be able to present their research at the annual meeting of the world’s largest professional herpetological society and to confer with other scientists in their field. This exposure is essential to establishing a young scientist’s reputation and can often lead to other opportunities including employment. Read more about this campaign on Instrumentl.
to support this endowment on Instrumentl
SSAR is a registered 501(c)3 organization and a letter documenting your donation for tax purposes may be requested by adding special instructions to your PayPal donation or by contacting us directly here.
Open Access Files: The Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles has announced that the following sections of Herpetological Review are now open access at the date of publication:
- News and Announcements
- Book Reviews
- Geographic Distribution Notes
- Natural History Notes
- Zoo View
In addition, every issue five years old and older (currently 1967-2010) are fully open access. SSAR would like to thank Jeff Miller for kindly scanning all of the older issues of Herpetological Review, allowing the society to offer these as pdfs.
These files are available at: https://ssarherps.org/herpetological-review-pdfs/
Book Sale: SSAR is currently having a clearance sale on a large number of books. This sale ends September 30th, 2015. Orders can be placed online at: http://www.ssarbooks.com/ and all items on sale are listed under the “Clearance Sale” category.
The following eight items will return to their suggested retail price after September 30th. Other titles may remain on sale, but at a higher price. Please consider stocking up on gifts or prizes. Books make a great “thank you” gift for students.
Francis, E.B. 1934 (2002). The Anatomy of the Salamander. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR), Ithaca, NY, xiv, xxxii, 382 p., 25 plates, (5 p.). HB, Dj. $12.00
Gans, Carl and Kraig Adler. 2010. Biology of the Reptilia Volume 22 Comprehensive Literature of the Reptilia compiled by Ernest A. Liner. Contributions to Herpetology Vol. 25. xx, 1366 p. (4).Clothbound with a dust-jacket. $20.00
Gans, Carl, Abbot S. Gaunt and Kraig Adler. 2008. Biology of the Reptilia Volume 20 Morphology H: The Skull of Lepidosauria. Contributions to Herpetology Vol. 23. xi, 770 p., 214 figures, indices. HB, Dj. $15.00
Gans, Carl, Abbot S. Gaunt and Kraig Adler (eds.) 2008. Biology of the Reptilia Volume 21 Morphology I: The Skull and Appendicular Locomotor Apparatus of Lepidosauria. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR), Ithaca, vii, 792 p., 151 figures, indices. HB, Dj. $15.00
Gray, John E. and Albert Günther. 1845–1875 (1995). The Lizards of Australia and New Zealand. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR), St. Louis, MO, 80 +20 plates. $8.00
Holbrook, John E. 1842 (1976). North American Herpetology; or, A description of the reptiles inhabiting the United States. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR), Ithaca, 1032 p. Clothbound. $15.00
McCranie, James R. 2011. The Snakes of Honduras: Systematics, Distribution, and Conservation. Contributions to Herpetology Vol. 26. x, 720 p., 20 plates. Clothbound with a dust-jacket. $20.00
McCranie, James R. and Larry David Wilson. 2002. The Amphibians of Honduras. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR), Ithaca, NY, x, 625 p.,, 20 plates, (5 p.). HB, Dj. $12.00
Below is a grant announcement from Prairie Biotic Research, Inc. This Wisconsin based non-profit has funded hundreds of projects since 2002, including ones focusing on reptiles and amphibians. They will be offering at least 15 grants of $1000 in their 2016 grant cycle. For complete details please read below, or click here to download a PDF of the announcement.
We Are Prairie Biotic Research (PBR) is an all-volunteer, Wisconsin nonprofit established in 2000 to foster basic biotic research in prairies and savannas. One way we do this is through a competitive Small Grants Program that funds grants up to $1000 to individuals for the study of any grassland taxon anywhere in the USA. We support both natural history and experimental science. We are especially eager to support independent researchers (those lacking institutional support), but anyone having a U.S. Social Security number may apply. Since 2002, we’ve awarded 211 grants worth $202,881 to people in 34 states to study insects, plants, mammals, reptiles, slime molds, mycorrhizal fungi, spiders, snails, amphibians, birds, fish, invasive species, effects of management, and the human dimensions of conservation. Many of these grants supported graduate student research. In 2016, we expect to fund at least 15 grants of up to $1000 each with the donations we have received, including some restricted by donors to support research in IA, IL, MI, MN, ND, SD, or WI.
To Apply for a Grant Visit our newly redesigned website to learn more, to find our proposal form, instructions, and a sample researcher agreement form that winners of this competition must sign. Check out the history and overview files in the Small Grants section of the website to see what sorts of proposals have won funding in the past. Several winning proposals from past years are available as models on our website. Review the reports submitted by researchers of past years. Those who won funding in 2015 are ineligible for this funding in 2016, but those who won funding longer ago are welcome to submit proposals to further that same work or to support a new project. In past years, we required submission of hard copy proposals, but not any more. Beginning this year, we want you to submit your proposal electronically, as a pdf file attached to an email. We must receive your proposal via email by December 20, 2015.
Become a Supporter Please make a donation to support our work; you can now do so using Visa or Mastercard through PayPal on our newly redesigned website. We cannot give away money that we don’t have. Any amount is welcome. PBR is volunteer-run so our overhead is very low. You may specify that your entire tax-deductible donation be given to researchers through our Small Grants Program, or to expand our research endowment that produces income we give away annually through this program. Please help us to help others!
We Foster Curiosity!
Michael Anderson, Craig Brabant, Rebecca Christoffel, Linda Duever, Jaime Edwards, Brick Fevold, Joshua Kapfer, Kerry Katovich, Douglas LeDoux, Victoria Nuzzo, Ron Priest, Dennis Schlicht, Steven Sullivan, Scott Swengel, Andrew Williams, Daniel Young, who comprise the Board of Directors and Scientific Advisors of Prairie Biotic Research, Inc.
At the 2015 meeting of the SSAR several students were recognized for exceptional oral and poster presentations. The award for oral presentations, named for Henri C. Seibert, was presented to four students in four seperate categories; Systematics/Evolution: Carl Hutter (University of Kansas), Ecology: Nick Huron (University of Oklahoma), Conservation: Tyler Hoskins (Miami University), and Physiology/Morphology: David Penning (University of Louisiana at Lafayette).
There were also eight honorable mentions; Systematics/Evolution: Jesse Grismer (University of Kansas), Pascal Title (University of Michigan), Alexa Warwick (Florida State University), Ecology: Alex Rohtla (Villanova), Conservation: Daniel Quinn (Truman State University), and Physiology/Morphology: Melissa Van Kleeck (University of Hawaii at Manoa), Robin Abraham (University of Kansas). A special mention to six excellent undergraduate presentations in the Systematics/Evolution category with Matt Buehler (University of Kansas) giving a particularly impressive talk.
The award for poster presentations, named for Victor Hutchison, was presented to three students: Evolution, Genetics, & Systematics: Aaron Griffing, Conservation and Management: Peter Delgado, Ecology, Natural History, Distribution, & Behavior: Ellee Cook.
We also presented 12 students with a $500 travel award to allow them to attend the meeting. These were drawn at random from students who applied for the award which required presenting at the meeting and having not received the award previously, winners include Chris Thawley, Rachel Flanagan, Stu Nielsen, Zachary Martin, Megan Smith, Brian Lavin, Molly Womack, Alexandra Gonzalez, John Phillips, Andrea Roth, Jordan Meyer, and Arianne Messerman.
We generally think of the National Science Foundation as a reliable (albeit highly competitive) source of federal funding for all of basic research, including herpetology. But we can’t accept that as a given. NSF’s budget and aspect of its focus and direction are determined by Congress and there are always pressures and threats to cut the budget or to change NSF’s mandate to something that is more applied, more revenue driven, or more in line with interests other than quality science. SSAR has joined 48 other biological organizations in signing onto a letter about the future of NSF drafted by the American Institute of Biological Sciences and directed to the Senate Commerce Committee. In so doing we are making it clear that we believe that the priorities of the National Science Foundation should be set by the Foundation, not by Congress, and that science and the country are well-served by an NSF that support of pure science, in all areas of research, based on the peer-review system.
2015 Meeting at the University of Kansas
THURSDAY, JULY 30 – SUNDAY, AUGUST 2, 2015
SSAR held its 2015 meeting on the beautiful and centrally located campus of the University of Kansas in Lawrence. All scientific sessions were held in the Kansas Union, which is adjacent to the KU Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum, the setting of more than a century of research and graduate education in herpetology. This was a joint meeting with the Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) events.
Featured speakers include:
- Keynote Speech by David Hillis “Evolutionary Insights from Studying Amphibians and Reptiles”
- Plenary Lecture by Harry Greene “The Life and Times of a KU Herpetologic Icon: Henry Fitch”
- Presidential Lecture by Miguel Vences “Inventory of an Imperiled Paradise: Two Decades of Herpetology in Madagascar”
- PARC Special Speaker Tyrone Hayes “From Silent Spring to Silent Night: A Tale of Toads and Men”
Conference highlights included:
• SSAR Symposium “Bones, Frogs, and Evolution” honoring Dr. Linda Trueb.
• SSAR Symposium “Frontiers in Integrative Organismal Biology: Herpetological Horizons.”
• Reception honoring distinguished senior herpetologists.
• The Herpetological Quiz, arranged by the graduate students at UT Arlington and KU, with prizes.
• Guided tours of herpetological collections and newly renovated laboratories in the museum.
• Tour of the Fitch Reservation at the KU Biological Field Station and Reserves, led by George Pisani.
• Special presentation for the International Society for the History and Bibliography of Herpetology featuring author Sally Haines of the KU Spencer Research Library.
• Redesigned audiovisual shows arranged by David Dennis and Eric Juterbock.
• Display of live Kansas amphibians and reptiles with photographic set-ups.
• Exploring non-academic careers in herpetology: a lunch time event for students hosted by PARC.