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Another productive year for science

Wrapping up another productive year of research here at Zoo Atlanta, I’d thought I’d share with you the fruits of our labors. It was an exciting year in research at Zoo Atlanta! Our team published a whopping 14 peer-reviewed articles, bringing our Zoo total up to at least 362 publications since 1978 (every once in a while, I stumble across an older publication that is not in our records).

In 2019, Zoo Atlanta’s team published 14 peer-reviewed articles on various lines of our research programs and collaborations.  This brings our institutional total up to a minimum of 362 publications since 1978, when we started keeping records. Listed below are the complete citations and, in some cases, internet-links to the publications are listed below. Here are summaries of our published works in 2019. Of special note for 2019 is that our team published both in the journal Nature and also Science. This is significant because those two journals generally are considered to be the most prestigious of all scientific journals. Our published authors this year include Dr. Jennifer Mickelberg, Robert Hill, Dr. Sam Rivera, Trent Niesen, Dr. Joe Mendelson, Dr. Marietta Danforth, Dr. Hayley Murphy, and Dr. Dan Cutler.

Here’s our list of publications from 2019:

Rivera, S. 2019. Quarantine. Pp. 142–145 In S. J. Divers and S. J. Stahl (Eds.), Mader’s Reptile and Amphibian Medicine and Survery,3rd Edition. Elsevier Publ.

Murray, S., J.C. Kishbaugh, L-A. C. Hayek, I. Kutinsky, P. M. Dennis, W. Devlin, K. L. Hope, M. D. Danforth, and H. W. Murphy. 2019. Diagnosing cardiovascular disease in western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) with brain natriuretic peptide. PLoS ONE 14(3): e0214101. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0214101

Mendelson III, J. R., G. W. Schuett, and D. P. Lawson. 2019. Krogh’s principle and the importance of modern zoo collections to academic research. Pp. 111–222 In A. Kaufman, M. Bashaw, and T. Maple (Eds.), Scientific Foundations of Zoos and Aquariums: Their Role in Conservation and Research. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Cooper, T., A. Liew, A., G. Andrle, E. Cafrtiz, H. Dallas, T. Niesen, E. Slater, J. Stockert, T. Vold, M. Young, and J. R. Mendelson III. 2019. Latency in problem solving as evidence for learning in varanid and helodermatid lizards, with comments on foraging techniques. Copeia 107:78–84.

Jared, C., P. L. Mailho-Fontana, J. Mendelson, and M. M. Antoniazzi. 2019. Life history of frogs of the Brazilian semiarid Caatinga, with emphasis in aestivation. Acta Zoologica 2019:1–9. DOI: 10.1111/azo

Scheele, B. C., F. Pasmans, L. Berger, L. F. Skerratt, A. Martel, W. Beukema, A. A. Acevedo, P. A. Burrowes, T. Carvalho, A. Catenazzi, I. De La Riva, M. C. Fisher, S. V. Flechas, C. N. Foster, P. Frías-Álvarez, T. W. J. Garner, B. Gratwicke, J. M. Guayasamin, M. Hirschfeld, J. E. Kolby, T. A. Kosch, E. La Marca, D. B. Lindenmeyer, K. R. Lips, R. Maneyro, C. A. McDonald, J. R. Mendelson III, P. Palacios-Rodriguez, G. Parra-Olea, C. L. Richards-Zawacki, M. O. Rödel, S. M. Rovito, C. Soto-Azat, L. F. Toledo, J. Voyles, C. Weldon, S. M. Whitfield, M. Wilkinson, K. R. Zamudio, and S. Canessa. 2019. The aftermath of amphibian fungal panzootic reveals unprecedented loss of biodiversity. Science 363: 1459–1463 + Suppl. Mat.   

(Perspectives: Greenberg, D. A., and W. J. Plan 2019. A deadly amphibian disease goes global. Science 363: 1886–1388.  DOI: 10.1126/science.aax0002)

Berry, S. M., J. R. Mendelson III. 2019.  Caudata Cognition. Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior.  Springer Publishers.  Submitted: In Press.

Cutler, D. C., H. Bissell, C. Wang, and S. Rivera. 2019. Serum trace nutrient values in four captive giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 50: 176–182.

Ruiz-Miranda, C. R., M. M. de Morais, Jr, L. A. Dietz, B. Rocha Alexandre, A. F. Martins, L. P. Ferraz, J. Mickelberg, S. J. Hankerson, and J. M. Dietz. 2019. Estimating population sizes to evaluate progress in conservation of endangered golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia). PloS One 14(6): e0216664.

Dennis, P. M., M. A. Raghanti, R. S. Meindl, E. Less, E. Henthorn, W. Devlin, S. Murray, T. Meehan, I. Kutinsky, and H. Murphy. 2019. Cardiac disease is linked to adiposity in male gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla). PloS One 14(6): e0218763.

Mendelson III, J.R., S. M. Whitfield, and M. J. Sredl. 2019. A recovery engine strategy for amphibian conservation in the context of disease. Biological Conservation 236:188–191. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2019.05.025

Berry, S. M., and J. R. Mendelson III. 2019.  Caudata Cognition. In: Vonk, J., Shackleford, T. (eds.) Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior. Springer Publishers. [online resource] DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1011-1

McCoy, D. E., B. M. Frye, J. Kotler, J. M. Burkart, M. Burns, A. Embury, S. Eyre, P. Galbusera, J. Hooper, A. Idoe, A. L. Goya, J. Mickelberg, M. Peromingo Quesada, M. Stevenson, S. Sullivan, M. Warneke, S. Wojciechowski, D. Wormell, D. Haig, and S. D. Tardif. 2019. A comparative study of litter size and sex composition in a large dataset of callitrichine monkeys. American Journal of Primatology 81: e23038. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.23038

Lind, A. L., Y. Y. Y. Lai. A. K. Mostovoy, A. Holloway, A. C. Y. Iannucci, M. Mak, V. Fondi, V. Orlandini, W. L. Eckalbar, M. Milan, M. Rovatsos, I. G. Kichigin, A. I. Makunin, V. A. Trifonov, E. Schijlen, L. Kratochvil, R. Fani, T. S. Jesso, T. Patarnello, J.W. Hicks, O. A. Ryder, J. R. Mendelson III, C. Ciofi, P. Y. Kwok, K. S. Pollard and B. G. Bruneau. 2019. A high-resolution, chromosome-assigned Komodo dragon genome reveals adaptations in the cardiovascular, muscular, and chemosensory systems of monitor lizards. Nature Ecology and Evolution https://doi/org/10.1038/s41559-019-0945-8

Hill, R. 2019.  Squamata Diet. In: Vonk, J., Shackleford, T. (eds.) Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior. Springer Publishers. [online resource] DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_95-1

Broken down by field-of-study, we have a nice diversity of topics:

If you are interested in reading any of these, many of them are already available at no charge on the non-Zoo Atlanta related ResearchGate website, and you can find them there by searching by the titles above.  Some of the titles are available for no-fee download, if you follow the link in the citations above.

If you want to see the entire published history of Zoo Atlanta’s research programs, you can find our annual update on our website here

Looking around the Zoo, research-wise, I can see some interesting things rolling toward completion in 2020.  We have complete data sets on cognition in box turtles, sidewinder rattlesnakes, and monitor lizards.  Dr. David Hu and his crew from Georgia Tech continue to get amazing new insights into the functionality of elephant trunks. Keeper Katie Gatlin (Mammals) is deep into the final drafts of an interesting study of behavior in slender-tailed meerkats (Suricata suricatta). 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).

I’ll be looking forward to seeing you all at the Zoo next year, as our teams measure, observe, and count everything possible in the name of science! 
Joe Mendelson, PhD
Director of Research

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