Corey & Alex's big day

15 February 2017

Congratulations to Alex & Corey

Today was a big day in the MeaseyLab with the defence of two MSc theses right on the deadline for submission before the graduation ceremony in March 2017. Both Corey and Alex did an excellent job, with in-depth explanations of their subject matter.  

Both started in February 2015 and handed in their theses during December 2016. 

Corey Thorp, who back in November won the best MSc presentation, was co-supervised by Mhairi Alexander and James Vonesh for his MSc thesis entitled: "The impact of Xenopus laevis on aquatic ecosystems." We've enjoyed having Corey in the lab, it's been a lot of fun and has often involved him getting wet.

NB No postgraduates were harmed during the making of this image, although 1 did get wet

Alex Rebelo spent many long hours chasing animals up and down, and around and round a track. The product, a thesis entitled: "Investigating the morphology, locomotory performance and macroecology of a sub-Saharan African frog radiation (Anura: Pyxicephalidae)." While Alex's seclusion with frogs often made him lose his voice, we thoroughly enjoyed watch him metamorphose - no more the tadpole.

  Frogs  Lab  News

Giovanni wins the prize

27 January 2017

Giovanni wins the top prize for best student presentation at the 13th Herpetological Association of Africa conference

Yes, Gio has stolen the show again in amazing style for his presentation: 

"Never underestimate your opponent: Adaptive phenotypic response in a recent amphibian invader"

Gio wins the top prizeSeen here Gio accepting the cash prize from HAA chair, Graham Alexander.

  Frogs  prizes

Another classic HAA meeting

27 January 2017

13th Herpetological Association of Africa conference

We had a great time at Bonamanzi Game Reserve for the 13th Herpetological Association of Africa conference.

Herpetological Association of Africa

In addition to the great photo there were lots of presentations from the MeaseyLab, including INVAXEN work and aSCR:

Estimating the global population size of a species that is hard to find: The case of Rose’s mountain toadlet
FRANCOIS BECKER, RES ALTWEGG , JOHN MEASEY, JASPER SLINGSBY & KRYSTAL A. TOLLEY

Parasite introduction to the endangered western leopard toad: Spill-over or spill-back?
NATASHA KRUGER, LOUIS H. DU PREEZ & JOHN MEASEY

Densities of Arthroleptella lightfooti across the Cape Peninsula: Preliminary results from acoustic spatial capture-recapture
MARIKE LOUW, RES ALTWEGG, ANDREW TURNER, JASPER SLINGSBY, BEN STEVENSON, DAVID BORCHERS & JOHN MEASEY

Who croaked? What the fossil frog bones say
THALASSA MATTHEWS & JOHN MEASEY

Counting chirps: Acoustic monitoring of cryptic frogs
JOHN MEASEY, BEN STEVENSON, TANYA SCOTT, RES ALTWEGG & DAVID BORCHERS

Modelling current and future distributions of three African anurans representing different functional groups: An ecophysiology modelling approach
MOHLAMATSANE M. MOKHATLA, DENNIS RÖDDER & JOHN MEASEY

Frog Olympics: Exploring the locomotory ecomorphology of the pyxicephalid radiation in southern Africa
ALEXANDER D. REBELO & JOHN MEASEY

Global realized niche divergence in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis
DENNIS RÖDDER, FLORA IHLOW, JULIEN COURANT, JEAN SECONDI, ANTHONY HERREL, RUI REBELO, JOHN MEASEY, FRANCESCO LILLO, F. ANDRÉ DE VILLIERS, CHARLOTTE DE BUSSCHERE & THIERRY BACKELJAU

The relative tadpole vulnerability of Xenopus tadpoles to X. laevis predators
COREY J. THORP, JAMES R. VONESH & JOHN MEASEY

Frog metapopulation dynamics in the Western Cape
ANDREW A. TURNER, JOHN MEASEY & KRYSTAL A. TOLLEY

Never underestimate your opponent: Adaptive phenotypic response in a recent amphibian invader
GIOVANNI VIMERCATI, SARAH J. DAVIES & JOHN MEASEY

Impacts of climate change on the global invasion potential of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis
FLORA IHLOW, JULIEN COURANT, JEAN SECONDI, ANTHONY HERREL, RUI REBELO, JOHN MEASEY, FRANCESCO LILLO, F. ANDRÉ DE VILLIERS, SOLVEIG VOGT, THIERRY BACKELJAU & DENNIS RÖDDER

  aSCR  Lab  meetings  Xenopus

How well do alien amphibian assessments match?

27 January 2017

How well do alien amphibian assessments match?

There are a growing number of impact classification schemes for invasive species. Here we use invasive amphibians to compare how scores match. See the paper in NeoBiota here.

How well do alien amphibian assessments match?

Classification of alien species’ impacts can aid policy making through evidence based listing and management recommendations. We highlight differences and a number of potential difficulties with two scoring tools, the Environmental Impact Classification of Alien Taxa (EICAT) and the Generic Impact Scoring System (GISS) using amphibians as a case study. Generally, GISS and EICAT assessments lead to very similar impact levels, but scores from the schemes are not equivalent. Small differences are attributable to discrepancies in the verbal descriptions for scores. Differences were found in several impact categories. While the issue of disease appears to be related to uncertainties in both schemes, hybridisation might be inflated in EICAT. We conclude that GISS scores cannot directly be translated into EICAT classifications, but they give very similar outcomes and the same literature base can be used for both schemes.

  Frogs  Lab  Xenopus

MeaseyLab Retreat - 2017

23 January 2017
Anonymous

Getting the year off to a stylish start with the MeaseyLab retreat at Bonamanzi & Mtenzini

We had an amazing time focussed around finding tree agamas (Acanthocercus atricollis) for Nick's project. The first week at Bonamanzi was a total failure with only 3 agamas seen after rain finally came (during the HAA conference). 

However, once we moved to Mtenzini there were lots of agamas to be had, and we developed a cruising style around the neighbourhood which netted us >20 animals in a couple of days. 

Note the presence of special guest star Dennis Rödder. Dennis joined us for the whole trip and we had a lotta fun. Also seen here are the HAA twins (Alex & Gio), Nyala braai (thanks to interrupting poachers at Bonamanzi) and Ma'Rake - of the golf course, Mtenzini.

  Lab  News