Herpetology Research

Current Projects

  • Reptiles as long-lived receptors for ecological risk assessment on the SRS
    (Tracey Tuberville, David Scott, Brian Metts, Tracye Murphy, Andrew Grosse, Robert Horan)
  • Design of Amphibian and Reptile Monitoring Protocols for Eight National Parks in the Gulf Coast Region
    (Kurt A. Buhlmann, J.D. Willson) in collaboration with U.S. National Park Service
  • Reintroduction of Gopher Tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) to the Aiken Gopher Tortoise Natural Heritage Preserve
    (Kurt A. Buhlmann, Tracey D. Tuberville and Andrew Grosse) in collaboration with South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
  • Inventory and Management of Flatwood Salamanders (Ambystoma bishopi) on U.S. Naval Airfields, Pensacola, Florida
    (Kurt A. Buhlmann, Brian D. Metts, Andrew Grosse, and Matt Erickson) in collaboration with U.S. Navy
  • Habitat Management and Nesting Ecology of Bog Turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) and Wood Turtles (Glyptemys insculpta) on Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey
    (Kurt A. Buhlmann) in collaboration with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Headstarting and Reintroduction of Blandings Turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) to Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, Massachusetts
    (Kurt A. Buhlmann and Tracey D. Tuberville) in collaboration with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Design of Artificial Nesting Structures to Reduce Automobile Mortality of Nesting Diamondback Terrapins
    (Kurt A. Buhlmann, Brian Crawford (M.S. Student), and Andrew Grosse) in collaboration with Georgia Sea Turtle Center and Jeykll Island Authority
  • Inventory and Monitoring Handbook for Amphibians and Reptiles
    (Kurt A. Buhlmann, Gabrielle Graeter (SREL Alumnus), and J. Whitfield Gibbons) in collaboration with Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC)
  • Habitat Selection of Adult and Metamorphic Gopher Frogs (Rana capito)
    (Kurt A. Buhlmann, Andrew Grosse, Robert Horan, and Brian Metts) in collaboration with South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
  • Natural History and Assurance Colony Development of Select Threatened Asian Turtle Species
    (Kurt A. Buhlmann and Cris Hagen) in collaboration with Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA)
  • Life History of Chicken Turtles (Deirochelys reticularia)
    (Kurt A. Buhlmann, Justin D. Congdon, J. Whitfield Gibbons, and Judith L. Greene)
  • Desert Tortoise Project
  • Maternal Transfer of Contaminants in Frogs
  • H-02 Constructed Wetland Studies: Amphibians and Plants
    (Principal Investigators — David Scott, Tracey Tuberville, Brian Metts, and Bill Hopkins; funded by NNSA)
  • Assessing the Ecological Health of the D-Area Ash Plume Wetland
    (Principal Investigators — David Scott, Tracey Tuberville, Brian Metts, and Bill Hopkins; funded by the Area Completion Projects group, SRNS)
  • Evaluating the risk of invasive Burmese pythons (Python molurus) in the Southeastern United States
    (Principal Investigators — Michael Dorcas, J.D. Willson, J.W. Gibbons in collaboration with USGS, National Parks Service, and University of Florida)
  • Impacts of Crab Trapping on Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) Populations of Kiawah Island, SC
    (Principal Investigators: Mike Dorcas and Whit Gibbons)
  • LEAP – Landuse Effects on Amphibian Populations
    (Betsie Rothermel, Brian Todd, Gabrielle Graeter, Brian Metts, and J. Whitfield Gibbons)
  • Treefrog colonization of pools in altered forest habitats
    (Betsie Rothermel, R. D. Mahan [University of Missouri], D. J. Hocking [University of Missouri])
  • Factors influencing postmetamorphic survival of ambystomatid salamanders
    (Betsie Rothermel, K. J. Schlatter, Tom M. Luhring)
  • Incidence of a fungal pathogen (B. dendrobatidis) in SE national parks
    (Betsie Rothermel)
  • Using Stable Isotopes as a Marking Tool for Amphibians
    (David Scott, Betsie Rothermel, Melissa Pilgrim, and Chris Romanek)
  • Terrestrial Distribution of Salamanders around an Isolated Wetland
    (David Scott, Dean Croshaw, and Mark Komoroski)
  • Herps of the Southeast Virtual Walk
    (An educational project for Student Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, SPARC — managed by David Scott)
  • Repatriation of Gopher Tortoises on the SRS
    (Tracey Tuberville, Whit Gibbons, Erin Clark, and Kurt Buhlmann)
  • The Rainbow Bay Long-term Amphibian and Reptile Study
    (David Scott, Tracey Tuberville, Brian Metts, and Brian Crawford)
  • Marbled Salamanders of Ginger’s Bay – “A Breeding Congress”
    (David Scott)
  • A Day in the Life of a Marbled Salamander
    (David Scott)

Past Projects

  • Global Conservation Priority Areas for the World’s Turtles
    (Kurt A. Buhlmann, Thomas S. B. Akre (SREL Alumnus), Deno Karapatakis (SREL Alumnus), and J.W. Gibbons) in collaboration with Conservation International, Earlham College, Chelonian Research Foundation, University of Canberra
  • Habitat Management Guidelines for Amphibians and Reptiles of the Southeast and Northeast United States
    (Kurt A. Buhlmann) in collaboration with Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC), Mitchell Ecological Research, Conservation Southeast, and New York Department of Environmental Conservation
  • International Trade in US Snakes and Turtles
    (Bob Reed, Whit Gibbons, Tony Mills)
  • Maternal transfer of mercury in Carolina diamondback terrapins
    (Aaliyah Green, Terry Norton, John Maerz, and Andrew Davis)
  • Mercury contamination in turtles from the Asian food trade
    (Aaliyah Green, Kurt Buhlmann, and Cris Hagen)
  • Herpetological Inventory of the Southeast Coastal Network National Parks
    (Tracey Tuberville, Mike Dorcas, J.D. Willson, and J. Whitfield Gibbons)
  • Herpetological Inventory of Sumter National Forest
    (Brian Metts, Judy Greene, and Whit Gibbons)
  • Intestinal and epidermal bacteria in developing anurans
    (Luke Fedewa)
  • Defensive behavior of selected crotaline species
    (Xavier Glaudas)
  • Enhancing Amphibian Biodiversity on Golf Courses through Use of Seasonal Wetlands
    (David Scott, Brian Metts, and J. Whitfield Gibbons)
  • Determination of the Impact of Crab Trapping on Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) Populations of Kiawah Island, South Carolina
    (Principal Investigators: Whit Gibbons, Meg Hoyle)
  • Environmental Risk Assessment and Cleanup on DOE Lands: Using tissue banks and turtles as biodetectors of contamination
    (J. Whitfield Gibbons and Judy Greene)
  • Determining Significant Endpoints for Ecological Risk Analysis
    (Tom Hinton, Justin Congdon, Christopher Rowe, David Scott, J. Bedford, Ward Whicker)
  • Sublethal Impacts of Coal-Derived Trace Elements on Amphibians, Reptiles, and Invertebrates
    (Bill Hopkins, Brandon Staub, Chris Rowe and Justin Congdon)
  • Ova and Neonate Variation in the Southern Leopard Frog, Rana sphenocephala
    (Mark J. “Komo” Komoroski)
  • Adult Amphibian Migration and Neonate Dispersal
    (Mark J. “Komo” Komoroski)
  • A Large-Scale Experimental Approach to Determine the Effects of Coarse Woody Debris on the Species Richness and Relative Abundances of Amphibians and Reptiles on the Savannah River Site
    (Michael E. Dorcas, J. Whitfield Gibbons)
  • How Dangerous Are Venomous Snakes in America?
    (Whit Gibbons, Michael E. Dorcas, Tony Mills, Kurt Buhlmann, Mark S. Mills)
  • Ecology and Life History of the Brown Water Snake, Nerodia taxispilota
    (Mark S. Mills)
  • Landscape Level Research on the Little Pee Dee River in South Carolina: Herpetofauna and Forest Management
    (Michael E. Dorcas, J. Whitfield Gibbons, Yale Leiden)
  • Turtle Studies on the University of Michigan’s E. S. George Reserve
    (Justin Congdon and Physiological Ecology Lab)
  • Study of the Sonoran Mud Turtle
    (Justin Congdon and Physiological Ecology Lab)