Frogs Living on Tea Bushes? A Case Study from the Western Ghats, India
Lilly is currently an adjunct professor at Oxy. She is an ecologist with interests in herpetofaunal composition and diversity. She used to study chemical communication cues in aquatic larval communities. However, after spending several months running tests in ex-situ arenas, she decided to study adult amphibian’s behavior in their natural habitats. She ended up finding them in large numbers in a rather unlikely location: tea plantations in southern India. Lilly researches species richness, composition, and health of frog and toad communities in the southern Western Ghats mountain range in India. While most of the emphasis on organismal work in India is in protected areas, her research lead to the discovery of previously undocumented anuran diversity in large private tea estates. Tea plantations in peninsular India have three distinct habitats types: tea, remnant forest patches (sholas), and eucalyptus forests. The communities of anurans in the plantations she studied show definite preferences to specific habitats, with some species being exclusive to certain habitat types. Since there is little to no historic data from these regions, Lilly is working with collaborators from India to help study and conserve the herpetofaunal diversity in agro-ecosystems.
Tuesday, January 30th
to sign up for lunch with the speaker after the seminar!