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Graduate Research Progress

Posted 09-20-2008 at 05:18 AM by MonarchzMan

As you may or may not know, I'm going to study O. pumilio for my graduate research. Summer 2009 will be my first field season where I will collect data for my thesis.

My project is currently evolving, and I haven't quite decided what I'm going to do, but I think my best bet right now is to do population assessment and limiting resources. With the great number of frogs being plucked from the wild, no one really knows what the population sizes are of these frogs in the wild. Having seen several of these populations in person, not all frogs are equal. Some populations can stand harvest, while others most certainly cannot. It's obviously important to know what the populations in Bocas are doing. I'm hoping to hit 30 or more sites across the archipelago. I'm hoping to get a couple new morphs

There has been a decent amount of research done on these frogs on what is eating them, and they've largely been inconclusive. Common forces in the tropics affecting populations are predation and competition. Since predation has be largely inconclusive, competition probably is limiting the population size. I doubt that interspecific competition happens for lack of other competing species in the area. There are some, but I imagine that pumilio are out competing them. So it's likely intraspecific competition that is limiting population size. The likely resources that would limit populations are rearing sites and food availability. So I'll manipulate those to see if populations change. The general idea will be to find out what is controlling these populations so that I can influence management decisions on how to up the populations (especially the threatened ones) to sustainable levels. It'll hopefully be a model for other egg eaters or dendrobatids. I wouldn't mind doing PhD work on getting those species populations up.

So I'm refining my ideas still, but I think that that is what I'll do. I'll be in Panama in summer 2009 and summer 2010 for sure. I might go down in the winter to check on my plots. We'll see.

I'm still working on the proposal now. I'm also looking for funding as well. I figure it's going to cost $3000+ to do what I want to do. I'm going to need a research assistant too, and I'd like to get funding for an assistant, but we'll see about that too. First I need to get money for myself and the project, but if I start now, I might have enough come next summer!
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  1. Old Comment
    kyle1745's Avatar
    Sounds interesting...
    Posted 09-27-2008 at 12:09 AM by kyle1745 kyle1745 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    zBrinks's Avatar
    Research assistant here. Will work for cost of airfare, food, and a place to sleep!
    Posted 10-08-2008 at 11:52 PM by zBrinks zBrinks is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Scott's Avatar
    If you can track down Justin Yeager (good luck) - I know he was doing undergrad and possibly post grad work on Pumilio mate selection.

    He may be able to help you further distill your thoughts on what you would like to do.

    Good luck.

    Posted 10-14-2008 at 01:10 PM by Scott Scott is offline
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