Welcome

We are a research lab at Monmouth University, focusing in the fields of Herpetology, Conservation Biology and Wildlife Ecology.  

 

As a lab, we focus on one fundamental, but broad question: How will wildlife populations persist across landscapes dominated by humans?  We approach this question by thinking about local conservation context, management potential and organisms that could use a bit more help (i.e., listed, species of special concern, etc.). We also contribute to understanding basic natural history and ecology of wildlife, which is critical for management and conservation. We focus primarily on reptiles and amphibians and both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

Check out what our students are up to...

Recent News!

  1. Richard Robinson is our Summer Scholars Program fellow for summer 2022. He will be starting our suburban Eastern Box Turtle project, in which we will be using radiotelemetry to understand how box turtles use small plots of land, essentially islands, in a matrix of suburban development.

  2. Lab member, Rebecca Berzins, wrote a perspective and summary piece titled, The Use of Technology in Wildlife Monitoring, about our work with drones and diamond-backed terrapins. 

  3. Featuring two Monmouth University students, Angelina Ireland and Sara Grouleff, a new SPARCnet pre-print is available, titled "Eastern red-backed salamanders: A comprehensive review of an undervalued model in evolution, ecology, & behavior". This manuscript is currently in review at Herpetological Monographs.

  4. New paper accepted for publication at the Journal of Herpetology focusing on the first density estimates of freshwater turtles in a canal system using spatial capture recapture analysis from new PhD student, Natalie Haydt: Haydt, N.T., D.J. Hocking and S.C. Sterrett. In press. Spatial Capture-Recapture Derived Turtle Capture Probabilities and Densities in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Journal of Herpetology xx:xx-xx.

  5. Rebecca Berzins, a Monmouth University Summer Fellows student, presented her research, "Evaluating the detection of Diamond-backed Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) from an unmanned aerial system using 3D printed models", at the 2021 Northeast Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation annual conference. See here.  

  6. New paper accepted for publication at the Journal of Herpetology focusing on methods to study Plethodontid salamanders using PIT tags: Sterrett, S.C., T.D. Dubreuil, M. O’Donnell, A. Brand, E.H.C. Grant. In Press. Testing assumptions in the use of PIT tags to study movement of Plethodon salamanders. Journal of Herpetology xx:xx-xx. 

  7. Collaborator and rock star, Jill Fleming, had another paper accepted, this time at Ecological Applications, which focuses on evaluating spatial capture recapture sampling designs. This paper is important as a first test of the standard cover board sampling design for the Salamander Population and Adaptation Research Collaborative Network. Fleming, J., C. Sutherland, S.C. Sterrett, E.H.C. Grant. In press. Experimental evaluation of spatial capture-recapture study design. Ecological Applications xx:xx-xx.