Student Testimonials

JP Lawrence

University of Mississippi
Gaige Fund Award, 2012

"The Effect of Color and Pattern on Predator Generalizations in a Polymorphic Poison Frog"

JP Lawrence with more than a handful of snakes

In receiving the Gaige Award, I was able to immediately start preparing for a field season examining predator generalizations towards novel phenotypes of the Dyeing Poison Frog (Dendrobates tinctorius). With the help of the Gaige award, I have purchased equipment to allow me to make models representing known and novel phenotypes to predators. Through this research, I will be able to better elucidate how predators perceive variations in color, which may aid in explaining the diversity seen in not only dendrobatid frogs, but a number of different aposematic species all over the world. It has been a great honor to receive the Gaige award from ASIH, as it is the first award I have received from a professional society, and gives me great encouragement to continue pursuing my research interests in the evolution of color in amphibians.

Elizabeth Lee

University of Alabama
Raney Fund Award, 2012

"Ethinyl estradiol bioaccumulation in mangrove ecosystems: from sediment to sex"

student researcher

Endocrine disrupting compounds cause a suite of detrimental effects on reproductive development, behavior, and population sex ratio in fishes. The Raney Award has been a critical component to my research project because it has provided the funding to begin quantifying the concentration of endocrine disrupting compounds by LCMS in tissues of Fundulus confluentus and Kryptolebias marmoratus, two fish speciesfound in the Florida mangroves. Thiswill allow me to elucidate how these chemicals are affecting population and community dynamics within the imperiled mangrove ecosystems.

Rusty Ligon

Arizona State University
Gaige Fund Award, 2012

"Investigating the Endocrine Underpinnings of Chameleon Color Change"

student researcher

My research is focused on how and why chameleons change colors during social interactions. To fully understand how chameleons use rapid color change as a social signal, we need to explore both the behavioral effects of color change on other chameleons and the mechanism underlying such changes. Funds from the ASIH Gaige Award have allowed me to begin to address these issues for the first time by concurrently measuring chameleon color change in real-time and relating these data to circulating hormone levels.

Gail McCormick

The Pennsylvania State University
Gaige Fund Award, 2012

"Benefits of stress: Do hormonal changes drive ectoparasite loads?"

Gail McCormick holding one of her lizards

Receiving the Gaige Award allowed me to enhance a research project that lays the foundation for my future graduate research. To investigate the consequences of chronic stress, I manipulated hormones in Eastern fence lizards from 6 sites across the Southern United States. With funds from the Gaige Award, I was able to measure hormone levels and multiple immune responses, providing a more thorough understanding of the link between hormones, immune function, and ectoparasite infection. The success of this project and the support from ASIH has encouraged me to pursue further research on the costs of chronic stress.

rattlesnake in a tree
rattlesnake coiled next to some desert rocks
Tombigbee Darter, Etheostoma lachneri