Islands as laboratories
Each summer, we make several trips to our study islands in Florida. Our research team includes faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates from several universities. In July and August, we're joined by high school science teachers that have been selected as Evolution Education fellows. We live and work together at a house on the waterfront, making daily boat excursions to our islands.
Our study species
The star of our field trips is the brown anole (Anolis sagrei), a small lizard that recently colonized Florida from Cuba and the Bahamas. We study many aspects of the ecology and evolution of the brown anole, which occurs in populations of hundreds to thousands of individuals on the small islands where we work. In a typical trip, we capture, measure, and release thousands of anoles.
What will we learn about evolution?
We track survival and collect DNA samples to determine the number of offspring produced by each anole. We use these data to measure natural and sexual selection and ask a variety of questions, such as: