Lizard Locomotor Performance and Body Condition
In the Fall of 2013, I joined the Gienger lab as a Masters Student at Austin Peay State University. During 2013- 2016 I was a research assistant for the Center of Excellence for Field Biology at Austin Peay State University where I maintained and collected long-term data on drift fences at the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. The goal of my research was to determine the affects of prescribed burning on reptile and amphibian communities. My thesis research focused on understanding how fire altered landscapes affected the general ecology of Eastern Fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus). I compared the differences in locomotor performance and body condition indices of lizards from three habitats with different fire histories. My main objective was to understand how different thermal regimes influenced overall physiology of these organisms in altered habitats. We found that there were significant differences in locomotor performance among lizards from different habitats, indicative of phenotypic plasticity.