Lab News

Lina Arcila Hernandez, Active Learning Initiative Post-doc, joining our lab

Lina Arcila Hernandez will be joining us starting May 2019. She will fill the new ALI post-doc position in EEB to study the feasibility and efficacy of implementing social and team-based learning in online teaching platforms. Lina will be teaching in BioEE1781, the online version of Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity, and working with Michelle Smith and Kelly Zamudio on her research. We look forward to having her!

Herpetology field trip to Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland

Clyde Peeling hosted 32 Cornell Herpetology students this weekend!

Every year our Herpetology Class goes to Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland, an AZA accredited zoo that focuses on reptile and amphibian diversity. We get a warm welcome from Mr. Peeling himself, get a behind the scenes tour, and then marvel at the intricate exhibits that are designed and fabricated by Clyde’s sons. A wonderful Zoo! And who would have thunk one could see courting Komodo dragons in Pennsylvania!

Komodo dragons courting, male tried for awhile, but she was not interested.

Cortland Kindergarten Learns All About Frogs

Jordan Garcia leads a discussion on frogs with students from Cortland.

Grad students from our lab are participating in GRASSHOPR this year, a Graduate Student School Outreach Program. GRASSHOPR pairs Cornell graduate students with teachers in Tompkins County and Geneva to teach 3- to 5-session mini-courses on topics related to the graduate student’s field or interests. Students at Randall Elementary in Cortland learned all about frog diversity, tadpoles and metamorphosis, and natural history.

More importantly, students got to meet “real frog scientists”!

The Rite of Spring

Ambystoma maculatum on his way to Bull Pasture Pond on the Cornell campus. Photo: C. Zobek

Maybe you already knew this, but our winters are looong, so it makes it even more special to witness the salamander migration to the breeding ponds. This is the real sign that winter has lost its grip on Ithaca!

Our Herpetology class has been waiting for this for weeks! And sure enough… it happens on the Friday before Spring Break when most students have left campus. Tonight Jordan, Nicole, and KZ took the few Herpetology students and Cornell Herp Society members that are still on campus to Bull Pasture Pond. We saw a bunch of Ambystoma jeffersonianum and A. maculatum, learned about sexual interference by spermatophore capping in spotted salamanders, and instagrammed the hell out of the salamanders making their way to the pond. It’s our own special herpetology ritual 🙂