The Herpetology lab is run by student volunteers that are involved in every facet of caring for the animals housed in the lab. Duties include feeding, cleaning, and handling the animals. The lab promotes proper reptile husbandry, and students learn how to care for the animals in a manner that is healthiest for each species. Along with husbandry, the lab volunteers are included in Dr. Underwood's public Herpetology lectures. Students handle and display the animals for hands-on activities with the audience. Once a volunteer is comfortable with the animals in the lab, they are sometimes asked to talk about the animals at demos or give tours. These are among the ways the volunteers absorb a great deal of knowledge while working for the lab. Dr. Underwood is a great advocate for hands-on learning for the volunteers as well as for groups that attend lectures or tours.
The lab atmosphere is very laid-back. Students learn not only from Dr. Underwood but from each other. Often students enrolled in the same class will gain study partners. Students that have already passed challenging classes often help those that are currently enrolled. Dr. Underwood's advisees also benefit from the volunteers, taking advice from those that have already been there. The atmosphere of the lab is not only scholastic, however. It is a great place to meet people whose interests are similar to your own.
Research involving reptiles and amphibians is strongly encouraged by Dr. Underwood and by the BGSU Biology Department. Current research in the lab includes initial egg incubation temperature and its effects on subsequent life history traits in the Madagascan Ground Gecko (Paroedura pictus) and the Viper Gecko (Teratolepis fasciata). Students are currently working on processing and entering data for these experiments. Current student Hillary Harms (pictured above) is researching water quality and its effects on poison dart frog tadpole growth.
Tours and Lectures
Every academic year, various local junior high and high school groups request tours and lectures. Lectures are given either in the Life Sciences Building on campus or in the lab, however, travelling tours are available. Dr. Underwood also gives lectures for the Women in Science conferences. Tours are available for small groups only, as the facility is not spacious enough to handle large ones. If you are interested in a lecture or a tour, contact Dr. Underwood. Drop-ins are welcome! Feel free to come and take a look around. Dr. Underwood and volunteers are always happy to answer any questions.
Dr. Underwood usually teaches one biology seminar a year dealing with reptile husbandry. This Spring semester she is teaching Frog Husbandry. Registration information is provided in the registration booklets for the semester the class is taught. These classes are small and have a limit on the number of people that can register.
Click here to see what Hillary Harms and Tiffany Holmes have created for their project in Dr. Underwood's Frog Husbandry class.
Hours: Weekdays during the regular academic year from 10-4 there is usually someone around, so feel free to drop in and visit. (Advanced notification of a visit is appreciated.)
Dr. Eileen Underwood
111 Life Sciences Building
BGSU, Bowling Green OH, 43403