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A year in review

Wrapping up the research year around Zoo Atlanta, I’d like to thank the readers out there who have been reading my blog here. It’s great to know that indeed, people are reading my posts! That is very gratifying, and I hope you all will continue in 2018. I’ve never done a regular writing series before. I missed a few over the busy summer, but have enjoyed the ride so far.

It was an exciting year in research at Zoo Atlanta! Our team published a whopping number of peer-reviewed articles, including (but not limited to) these:

Grant, E. H. C., E. Muths, R. A. Katz, S. Canessa, M. J. Adams, J. R. Ballard, L. Berger, C. J. Briggs, J. Coleman, M. J. Gray, M. C. Harris, R. N. Harris, B. Hossack, K. P. Huyvaert, J. Kolby, K. R. Lips, R. E. Lovich, H. I. McCallum, J. R. Mendelson III, P. Nanjappa, D. H. Olsen, J. G. Powers, K. L. D. Richgels, R. E. Russell, B. R. Schmidt, A. Spitzen-van der Sluijs, M. K. Watry, D. C. Woodhams, and C. L. White. 2017. Using decision analysis to support proactive management of emerging infectious diseases in wildlife. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 15: doi:10.1002/fee.1481

Astley, H. C., V. E. Astley, D. Brothers, and J. R. Mendelson III. 2017. Digital analysis of photographs for snake-length measurement. Herpetological Review 48:39–43.

Mendelson, J. R., III. 2017. Working Life: The call of the wild. Science 357:326. DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6348.326

Frost, D. R., E. Moriarity Lemmon, R. W. McDiarmid, and J. R. Mendelson III. 2017. Anura—Frogs. In B. I. Crother (ed.), Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North American North of Mexico, 8th Edition. SSAR Herpetological Circular 43: 6–24. 338.

Pessier, A.P., and J.R. Mendelson III (eds.). 2017. A Manual for Control of Infectious Diseases in Amphibian Survival Assurance Colonies and Reintroduction Programs, Ver. 2.0. IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group: Apple Valley, Minnesota, USA. 283pp.

Thompson, L. R, plus 41 authors and Earth Microbiome Consortium (incl. J. R. Mendelson III). 2017. A communal catalogue reveals Earth’s multiscale microbial diversity. Nature 551: 457–463 + Supporting Online Materials. doi:10.1038/nature24621 (Research News & Views: Raes, 2017 doi:10.1038/nature24756)

Page-Karjian, A., M. Hahne, K. Leach, H. Murphy, B. Lock, and S. Rivera. 2017. Neoplasia in snakes at Zoo Atlanta during 1992–2012. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 48:521–524.

Looking around the Zoo, research-wise, I can see an interesting study of growth of juvenile boa constrictors, led by Assistant Curator of Herpetology Robert Hill, wrapping up soon. A group of my Georgia Tech students are wrapping up a particularly clever study of cognitive learning in lizards, and we are plotting an exciting new study in that realm now with colleagues from Emory University. Dr. David Hu and his crew from Georgia Tech continue to get amazing new insights into the functionality of elephant trunks. Animal care professionals Taylor Rubin (Birds) and Katie Gatlin (Mammals) are deep into data analyses on their respective studies of behavior in Chilean flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis) and slender-tailed meerkats (Suricata suricatta), respectively. Of course, on any given day, you can be certain that our intrepid primate-research interns are staked out recording the fascinating minutiae of the social lives of western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla).

See you in the New Year, and keep on reading!
Joe Mendelson, PhD
Director of Research

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