What does biodiversity do for us?

Here’s a blast from the past. Back in 2013 while at SNRE a friend and I made a video for a class on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Another of my professors recently emailed asking about it and I dug it out of YouTube mothballs. At least, I thought it’d been collecting dust, it turns out in the interim almost 25,000 people have watched it online! I re-watched it the other day and it made me smile. Give it a look and enjoy the silly animations and my over-eager/too-often-falsetto/mic-proximity-variable voiceover (in my defense Cynthia is a professional singer/songwriter so her impeccable stage voice sets a pretty high bar).

More stories around the web!

These little lizards in NY and CT sure are capturing a lot of peoples’ imaginations! The story has been picked up now in quite a few places! Here are a few that you might like to check out:

First and foremost, Peregrine Frissell, the author of the first Greenwich Time piece that started the momentum wrote a terrific follow up after going out into the field with Max, Greg, and I. You should definitely read it here – he had a photographer out in the field with him who got a bunch of GREAT shots!


That story’s been taken up in the Washington Times and by SFGate all the way out in California. Peregrine’s piece also inspired a post on the Mother Nature Network.

The NYTimes piece by Jim Dwyer really took off, and for good reason. If you haven’t seen it yet I’d highly encourage you to read it.


You can also catch the story at (e)ScienceThe Barre Montpelier Times Argus, NewsInn.org (with a cool (uncredited) header photo), WorldPrimetime, Singapore News, Headlines News 24, Digital News World, World of Online News. Alright, I’ll admit most of those are just news aggregators scraping off NYTimes headlines, but the Times did send the article out in the day’s Evening Briefing so that’s super exciting!

In searching for all those links (there are about twice that many easily found on google) I did find one gem. According to NewsDiffs, a site that tracks changes in articles after they are first published, the NYTimes article was first called “Immigrants To New York, Small but Fit, Seek New Turf.” I’m glad he swapped to “A Lizard That Made It in New York Heads North.”

I’m excited that these lizards are resonating with people and I’m looking forward to more lizard trips in the future to keep you updated on where they’re going and what they’re doing!



Another search for Greenwich Lizards

I just returned from another trip down to Greenwich looking for Italian Wall Lizards. They’re still there and going strong! Right now we’re trying to find new populations and figure out just how far up the coast they’ve made it. As near as we can tell, so far, their northernmost extent seems to be right around the Cos Cob train station. If you’ve seen any lizards north or east of Cos Cob harbor definitely let me know!

Here are a few pictures of lizards from these last trips:


I like this picture – can you see the male hiding behind the female, further up the wall?


This fellow is trying to get into the basement!


Here’s Max, chasing a lizard into the vegetable garden.


More leads on lizards in CT

This weekend a great article about the Italian Wall Lizards in Greenwich was published in the Greenwich Time. Give it a look here. Thanks to Peregrine Frissell for the interview.

I’m excited because new tips are starting to roll in about lizards in Southern CT and New York. It turns out lizard diversity in the area is higher than expected – we’re getting reports of some other species too:

Here’s a cute little Sceloporus:


(Photo credit: K. Ladd)

And here’s Anolis sagrei, the “festive anole” a long way from home!


(Photo credit: K. Eisley)

Very cool lizards but we’re on the lookout for this guy, Podarcis siculus:


Here are a bunch more pictures. Email me to let me know if you think you’ve seen one in your backyard!

Decor decisions

Some friends gave us an EU flag to wrap a wedding present (anticipating our time in Europe) and I decided to hang it at work for inspiration. (And no, it’s not an anachronism now – the 12 stars are staying regardless of Britain’s leaving. Did you know there are 28, soon to be 27, member states?)


Looks great in the office, doesn’t it?! Well, everything seemed perfect until I sat down for a Skype call… Here’s what I saw:


Oops. But actually I think I’m gonna keep it just the way it is🙂

Honeymoon Herps


Claire and I got married! For long term followers of the blog that might not come as such a surprise. We had a blast at Mass Audubon’s Habitat Nature Sanctuary for the ceremony and after, we left for Amelia Island in Florida.

Alright, so Amelia Island was nice, dolphins off the porch every morning, biking through live oak forests, kayaking through salt marshes, and sitting on miles of powdery white sand beaches. Really nice. But there were lizards!! PERFECT!

We found four species including this Anolis carolinensis above and below.


One of his cousins looked somewhat smug after being caught, don’t you think?


Alright, enough of the extraneous ring cameos. We found lots of Festive anoles too (Anolis sagrei). How appropriate.


Among all of the Anoles we found a couple of other species too. Here’s a picture of a cool skink, Scincella lateralis.


And I never managed to get a grip of the couple of whiptails dashing around the B&B but Aspidoscelis sexlineatus was also streaking through the dunes. Another really cool lizard!

All in all it was a terrific week of relaxing and recharging. If you’re ever looking for a great spot for outdoor adventure, quiet beach time, or good food, try Amelia Island!