Thursday, December 10, 2015

Research Topic Updates & Pictures

While I have started a project involving watching seeds germinate, others in the lab are busy bees as well.  Matt is finishing up his PhD dissertation that revolves around box turtles.

Christian has been crunching the numbers on his bat data (roadside analysis).

Jen has decided to research bats for her work, focusing on the temperature variations and impacts of climate change.

Lauren has decided to do research on roadkill, to assess roads around Oak Openings Preserve and Maumee State Forest.

Here is a pick of Jen setting up the ash seeds in the field.  Keeping them in bags will help me know where they are.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake News


Click the link above to read about the USFWS announcement to seek protection for the E. Massasauga rattlesnake.

Click below to learn more about the rattlesnake.

E. Massasauga Fact Sheet USFWS

Matt Cross, a current PhD student in our lab, has recently published work he conducted on E. Massasauga rattlesnakes while he was at Central MI Univ. In this research he studied the affects of prescribed fires on the snake by implanting radio transmitters and searching for snake locations directly before and after a prescribed fire.  Data was taken on prescribed fire temperature and fire movement near snake locations. To see what he found you can find the article here: Prescribed fire and Massasauga paper or search for it using this citation:

  • Cross, M., Root, K., Mehne, C., Mcgowan-Stinski, J., Pearsall, D., Gillingham, J. 2015. Multi-scale Responses of Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes (Sistrurus catenatus) to Prescribed Fire. Am. Midl. Nat., 173:346-362.

Oak Openings Preserve Metropark Sign

We wanted to share with you a new sign that has been put up near the Girdham Sand Dunes at Oak Openings Preserve Metropark.  It is a wildlife crossing sign that reminds visitors to not only look out for deer, but also smaller animals that may be in the roadway.  The research we do in the Root lab on herpetofauna  helped influence the parks choice to put up the sign.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Blog 'bout Bats

For an update on bats check out these articles:
   One on the treatment that saved some sick bats:
Bacteria for WNS
One on the naturally occuring survivors:
Batty White Nose Syndrome Survivors

New students in the lab

Lauren Jonaitis is new to the lab and currently trying to develop her research topic. However, she has done independent research in Namibia, Africa on human-carnivore conflicts.
Also, as apart of her undergraduate career at the State University of New York at Oswego, she studied the influence of wetland configuration on anuran road mortality. This was done to better understand how roadways affect anuran populations. At Bowling Green State University she hopes contribute to research involving mammals.

Jennifer Hollen is from Michigan and received her undergrad degree from Michigan State University. Some of the species she has worked with in the past include cerulean warblers, bats, and deer.  She was a cerulean warbler seasonal surveyor for the Michigan Audubon. As a Forest Service biological technician she studied bat roosting sites in Monogahela National Forest. While working as a research technician in MSU's Quantitative Wildlife lab she used genetics to evaluate urban deer social structure. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Root Lab Summer 2015

Here is an introduction to who's who in the Root Lab this summer:
You already heard previously about me and how I work on ash tree dynamics and the impact/recovery from emerald ash borer beetles.
Ash Seedling By: RHK

Emerald Ash Borer Beetle By: KSK
Christian Nordal is analyzing roadside variables that influence bat species richness, diversity, and composition.  This is an extension of what Jessica S. was previously investigating. 
Little Brown Bat By: USFWS
Sara Zaleski is analyzing environmental factors that affect avian presence in roadside agricultural ditches.  Look for her thesis soon!
Great Blue Heron By: USFWS
Amanda Martin examined species diversity, richness, and spatial patterns of herpetofauna in the Oak Openings Preserve Metropark near Swanton, OH.
N. Leopard Frog By: DWH
Matt Cross is researching the spatial ecology of Eastern box turtles in the Oak Openings Region.
Eastern box turtle By: J. Lynch, NPS

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

An Introduction to the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle

     The emerald ash borer beetle (EAB)(Agrilus planipennis) has been an invasive pest species to Ohio for a number of years and has spread to many other states.  It has made such an impact that many people already know what it is and why it is bad.  Just in case you don't remember, EAB is a beetle from Asia that made its way to Detroit and had become a problem because it only targets ash trees (Fraxinus species) to survive.  Our ash trees were not ready to handle EAB and most of them have died in our area.  For more information on EAB see this website:
     I (Rachel K) had been working for a number of summers as a forest technician, collecting data in the NW Ohio area for the USDA Forest Service on EAB and ash trees. This research has been headed by Dr. Kathleen Knight at the Forest Service and if your interested in any of her publications you can find them here: KS Knight Publications
I'm now starting my research towards a PhD and looking to further our knowledge on the recovery of areas hit by EAB. I have first started work with Dr. Root and Dr. Knight on creating a computer model that estimates the ash tree populations expected survival based on ash surveys in the NW Ohio area.  There are still ash trees alive in this area, but most are young and small.  I hope to find out how many are still out there and what there chances are of survival.

Chevrolet wants to help save bats

Check out this article on how the makers of Chevy Volt want to take its old parts and make it into bat houses! Chevrolet helps flying mammals

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Changes to our blogger

If you get our blogs on your reading list look forward to more info from more people about bats and other wildlife.  Jessica is still working with bats, but is in another state.  I'm her old lab-mate, we both work(ed) with Dr. Root at Bowling Green State University.  I'll be updating the blog with new information. In the meantime check out the latest information on white nose syndrome here: