In July of this year, I attended the 2013 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At this fun and engaging conference on the biology of fish, amphibians and reptiles, I presented a synopsis of my recent research (with co-author Jessica Pringle ’13) on the Tobago glass frog entitled “Impacts of paternal care on offspring survival: An experimental study on a glass frog from Tobago, West Indies”. I was accompanied to Albuquerque by recent Wooster grads Meredith Eyre (’13) and Jess McQuigg (’13), who presented posters describing their I.S. research. Meredith’s poster was entitled “Exploring the microhabitats of marsupial frogs: A study of the forces driving habitat selection for Flectonotus fitzgeraldi on the island of Tobago”. Jess’ poster was “A reassessment of the conservation status of a critically endangered Neotropical frog (Mannophryne olmonae) using occupancy modeling techniques”.
In addition to hearing interesting talks, re-engaging with old friends, and meeting new colleagues, Meredith, Jess and I were able to sneak away from the conference for a half day. Departing Albuquerque at 5 am in a rental car, we drove south to the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. Arriving at daybreak, we hiked up to the top of the mesa (~ 4 miles round trip) and were treated to a spectacular view of the Rio Grande Valley to our east.
Beneath our feet, desert lizards were scurrying and above our heads desert birds were soaring. We were treated to views of black-chinned hummingbirds, scaled quail, Say’s phoebes, and blue grosbeaks, to name but a few. A very nice addendum to a day in a conference hall!