CHS Blog

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Biologists make us all richer

February 01, 2022
Interview with Guillaume DeBlois who co-wrote a book on Canadian freshwater turtles

Professionals who take care of biodiversity leave a priceless legacy for future generations. A young Canadian, Guillaume DeBlois, understood this and wanted to support them in their work by making it his mission to help save freshwater turtles. A member of the Canadian Herpetological Society's Board of Directors invited his mother to ask him a few questions to find out the story behind his journey. Here is the result of that exchange… Read More

Investigating the Enduring Mystery of Temperature-dependent Sex Determination

May 01, 2021
Jessica Leivesley, PhD candidate, Njal Rollinson Lab, University of Toronto

In my opinion, temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) is one of the weirdest but most interesting things about reptiles. In animals, sex determination is typically thought of in terms of sex chromosomes. For example, in species with an XY sex-chromosome system (such as humans), embryos possessing two X chromosomes will be genetically female, while those with both an X and a Y chromosome will be … Read More

Buried Away: Vocalising Turtles and Cooperative Hatching Behaviour

March 21, 2021
Claudia Lacroix, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, and the School of the Environment, University of Toronto

Reptiles are not known for their behavioural complexity, and until recently I bought into that belief. In my lower year undergraduate classes, behavioural ecology and herpetology were taught separately. So, when I asked my current supervisor, Dr. Njal Rollinson, if I could do a third-year research thesis, I was shocked when he proposed a project on turtle vocalisations. First of all, turtles vocalise? And second of all, I can study behaviour AND turtles? This idea largely came from … Read More

A Summer Spent Salamander-ing

November 03, 2020
Meghan Ward

For as long as I can remember, I spent childhood summers at the cottage catching frogs and searching for salamanders under logs. My most trusted tools were a little plastic frog-shaped net and a big red bucket. If eight-year-old Meghan had been told she would be doing the same thing 15 years later, she would have been as ecstatic as I was while preparing to embark on a salamander study last… Read More

Canadian Herpetologists Abroad: New Zealand for the World Congress of Herpetology

September 30, 2020
Patrick Moldowan

In January 2020, a contingent of Canadian herpetologists congregated in the southern hemisphere for the largest gathering of likeminded geeks from around the globe. The 9th World Congress of Herpetology (WCH), hosted at the University of Otago in Dunedin, Aotearoa, New Zealand (05-11 Jan 2020), brought together 874 herpetologists from 57 countries to share scientific findings, promote education, and address… Read More

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