Measuring the Light on High

Last summer the Glor lab began collecting light data to supplement ongoing research into the speciation of distichoid Anolis lizards.  Following methods developed by Leo Fleishman and Manuel Leal, our aim was to measure light levels at the exact location where a lizard had displayed.  Doing so involves holding a small sensor to the spot of the display and measuring the average light intensity for 15 seconds. That’s easy enough when the animal was 7 or 8 feet high, but most of our observations were substantially out of arms reach.

Necessity being the mother of invention (Plato, 360 B.C.), we rigged together our very own collapsible light meter pole using a broken panfish rod, utility cord and athletic tape.  This rig, pictured at right, has served us well, including our current trip to the Dominican Republic (for updates on the the trip see the Glor Lab Page).  It is our hope that by accurately measuring light at the site of displays we get a better handle on where males choose to display in their environment and how those sites differ between populations.

About Anthony Geneva

Assistant Professor at Rutgers University–Camden. I use a variety of evolutionary genomics approaches to ask questions about gene flow, adaptation and speciation.
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