The Mojave Desert is a great place to study reptiles. Besides being a biological hotspot of lizard diversity, it is also a beautiful place to work.
Some of the lizard species we are working with in the Mojave include the following:
One of our projects is a 50-year resurvey of lizard communities in sites studied in the 1960’s:
We are also collecting tissue samples and geographic data for all lizards in the Mojave to support two other projects. First, we are carrying out a comparative landscape genomics study to investigate if genetic connectivity is a property of the landscape itself, or if genetic connectivity is species-specific and can be explained by their traits. Second, we are bringing the fields of landscape genomics and community ecology together in a novel way to understand how habitat and competition jointly influence the assembly of ecological communities.
We also encountered several snakes in the desert, including Masticophis and Lampropeltis.
And, of course, what trip to California would be complete without burritos!