Drew R. Davis

Drew R. Davis
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley · School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences

Ph.D., Biological Sciences

About

225
Publications
43,425
Reads
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595
Citations
Introduction
I am currently a post-doc at UT Rio Grande Valley working to better understand the distribution and ecology of the state-threatened Black-spotted Newt. \\ Broadly, I am interested in how biotic and abiotic stressors (i.e., predators, pathogens, contaminants, and environmental variables) affect both individuals and populations. I approach questions concerning the ecology of stressors in an organismal context by incorporating various fields, including behavioral ecology, stress and environmental physiology, ecotoxicology, and disease ecology, all with the goal of conservation of both species and habitat. My research has primarily involved amphibians and reptiles as focal taxa, and I have used both laboratory and field experiments to answer these research questions.
Additional affiliations
August 2012 - May 2018
University of South Dakota
Position
  • Research Assistant
January 2010 - May 2012
Texas State University
Position
  • Research Assistant
January 2008 - December 2008
University of Texas at Austin
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
August 2012 - May 2018
University of South Dakota
Field of study
  • Biological Sciences
January 2010 - May 2012
Texas State University
Field of study
  • Population and Conservation Biology
August 2005 - May 2009
University of Texas at Austin
Field of study
  • Biology (Ecology, Evolution, Behavior)

Publications

Publications (225)
Article
Full-text available
We report the occurrence of 50 species of amphibians and reptiles recently collected on C. E. Miller Ranch and the Sierra Vieja in the Chihuahuan Desert of Texas, USA and describe their perceived distribution and abundance across various habitat associations of the region. Our recent surveys follow intense, historic sampling of amphibians and repti...
Article
Declines in amphibians are a global problem, influenced by complex local factors. While many factors contribute to these declines, much attention has been focused on the roles of contaminants and pathogens. Throughout eastern South Dakota, row-crop farming has contributed to habitat degradation for many amphibians, often through increases in enviro...
Article
Full-text available
Global climate change is negatively impacting global biodiversity and ectothermic vertebrates, with amphibians being the most imperiled vertebrate taxa. Increased mean global atmospheric temperatures, high rates of habitat degradation, and exposure to infectious diseases such as chytridiomycosis, have contributed to population declines and extincti...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation concerns are increasing for numerous freshwater turtle species, including Pseudemys gorzugi , which has led to a call for more research. However, traditional sampling methodologies are often time consuming, labor intensive, and invasive, restricting the amount of data that can be collected. Biases of traditional sampling methods can fu...
Article
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The Black-spotted Newt (Notophthalmus meridionalis) is a chronically understudied salamander species, with many aspects of its natural history, ecology, and distribution poorly known. Previous studies using traditional methodologies have had limited success documenting N. meridionalis on the landscape, detecting individuals at 6% (7 of 114) and 1%...
Article
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Turtle populations around the world are continually confronted with changing environments that affect their ecology and conservation status. Among freshwater turtles, population dynamics are thought to be mediated by complex yet often cryptic causes. One recent direction of focus in addressing these causes is the turtle-associated microbiota. In tu...
Article
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Wildlife monitoring programs are instrumental for the assessment of species, habitat status, and for the management of factors affecting them. This is particularly important for species found in freshwater ecosystems, such as amphibians, as they have higher estimated extinction rates than terrestrial species. We developed and validated two species-...
Article
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Environmental DNA (eDNA) assays have become a major aspect of surveys for aquatic organisms in the past decade. These methods are highly sensitive, making them well-suited for monitoring rare and cryptic species. Current efforts to study the Rio Grande Siren in southern Texas have been hampered due to the cryptic nature of these aquatic salamanders...
Article
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World Congress of Herpetology Newsletter
Article
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The diversity of Philippine amphibians and reptiles has increased over the last few decades, in part due to re-evaluation of species formerly believed to be widespread. Many of these investigations of widespread species have uncovered multiple closely related cryptic lineages comprising species complexes, each restricted to individual Pleistocene A...
Article
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While shell diseases may be often encountered in captive aquatic turtles maintained in less than optimum conditions, cases of nonulcerating shell disease in wild populations are rare. We discovered lesions on the carapace of individual Kinosternon flavescens (Yellow Mud Turtle) adapted to a highly aquatic existence in the artificial ponds of a catt...
Article
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South Dakota Conservation Kids
Article
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Global climate change is negatively impacting global biodiversity and ectothermic vertebrates, with amphibians being the most imperiled vertebrate taxa. Increased mean global atmospheric temperatures, high rates of habitat degradation, and exposure to infectious diseases, such as chytridiomycosis, have contributed to population declines and extinct...
Article
Full-text available
Water‐borne hormone measurement is a noninvasive method suitable for amphibians of all sizes that are otherwise difficult to sample. For this method, containment‐water is assayed for hormones released by the animal. Originally developed in fish, the method has expanded to amphibians, but requires additional species‐specific validations. We wanted t...
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Several infectious diseases are threatening amphibian species worldwide and have resulted in mass-mortality events across the globe. An emerging group of viral pathogens (ranaviruses) are documented to cause die-offs in amphibian populations worldwide, including in several regions of the U.S. Unfortunately, large gaps remain in our understanding of...
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Chytridiomycosis, an infectious disease caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (chytrid or Bd), has not been well studied in Oklahoma. This is of particular concern regarding the connection between seasonality and chytrid infection. To further investigate this connection, chytrid prevalence and infection load were quantified within amp...
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Spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) require vernal pools for breeding habitat. Limited protection and preservation of vernal pools makes suitable habitat creation important. Differences in corticosterone levels, a hormone associated with growth, development, and stress in amphibians, could indicate population health and habitat quality. Our o...
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Understanding how environmental factors influence various aspects of freshwater turtle health remains an important yet understudied topic within the context of individual-environment interactions. This is particularly true of host-associated bacterial microbiota, which are being increasingly recognized as a significant and understudied topic in the...
Article
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Published in The Prairie Naturalist.
Article
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Global amphibian decline continues to be a great concern despite our increased understanding of the causes behind the observed patterns of the decline, such as habitat modification and infectious diseases. Although there is a large body of literature on the topic of amphibian infectious diseases, pathogen prevalence and distribution among entire co...
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Based on molecular and morphological data sets, we describe a new species of scincid lizard of the genus Lygosoma from Indochina, and redescribe true Lygosoma quadrupes (Linnaeus, 1766). The new species is small and slender, and represents the third member of the L. quadrupes complex, increasing the diversity of Lygosoma species recognized in South...
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South Dakota Conservation Digest
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In our recently published checklist, we mislabeled one of the species of lizards in Figure 6. In error, we listed Figure 6D as a Chihuahuan Spotted Whiptail ( Aspidoscelisexsanguis ) instead of the correct identification as a Little Striped Whiptail ( Aspidoscelisinornata ). Additionally, on 6 February 2018 (the date this manuscript was published),...
Article
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The Barton Springs Salamander, Eurycea sosorum, is a fully aquatic salamander found in Barton Springs in Texas, USA, and has benefited from habitat restoration efforts. While important to improve overall habitat quality for this imperiled species, current management and restoration practices may also inadvertently increase the abundance of non-targ...
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The Philippines possess a remarkable species diversity of amphibians and reptiles, much of which is endemic to this Southeast Asia island nation. Lizard diversity in the family Gekkonidae is no exception, with more than 80% of the country’s gecko species endemic to the archipelago, including the entire genus of False Geckos (Pseudogekko). This smal...
Article
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Small isolated wetlands are critical breeding habitat for many amphibians. Many of these wetlands are susceptible to destruction due to lack of regulation. Therefore, it is important to create new suitable habitat that can sustain healthy wildlife populations to mitigate loss. Concentrations of corticosterone, a hormone related to stress, developme...