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  • Writer's pictureXochitl Clare

Lizard's Play Rock, Paper, Scissors

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

"Orange Beats Blue!"--Understanding unusual reptile mating strategies in a changing climate

Love is a game of chance for some of our planet's small cold blooded friends who are especially sensitive to a warming planet. Check out the Audio Log to join for my visit with Dr. Pauline Blaimont at the Sinervo Lab, University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). You'll hear other members of the Sinervo Lab chime in with insights of their own on the wild reptiles they study in between reflections on their experiences as graduate student researchers.

Article by Xochitl Clare | Photos provided by Dr. Pauline Blaimont

I met Dr. Blaimont as a curious undergraduate while she was working on her Ph.D. in Dr. Barry Sinervo’s Lab at UCSC where she generously agreed to participate in my science storytelling project, "Rethinking Natural History" I produced in 2017.

Her dissertation broadly investigated "how climate change will affect ectothermic organisms (organisms that rely on external sources to regulate temperature), using the viviparous (live young–bearing) European common lizard in France as [her] study species."

Dr. Blaimont's dissertation specifically looked at "how maternal thermoregulation, offspring phenotype (i.e., viability, morphology, and other characteristics), and interactions with the parasites that infect them are impacted under different climate scenarios"

Dr. Blaimont is spent time as a full-time biology instructor at Rider University. She "hope[s] to work to improve STEM education and start up programs similar to those [she] participated in while in graduate school involving science outreach at local K-12 schools."

Follow Dr. Pauline Blaimont:

"If Lizards Could Sing" - 2019 UCSC Grad Slam Talk, Dr. Pauline Blaimont:

About the author: Xochitl Clare will be receiving her Ph.D. in Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara (23'). Xochitl wrote this piece while double majoring in Marine Biology & Theater Arts at UC Santa Cruz (17'). Her current research covers eco-physiology and global change biology. Xochitl is also passionate about multi-media science communication.

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