Pete Zani

Entrou: 17 de jan. de 2021 Última vez ativo: 01 de abr. de 2023 iNaturalist

I consider myself an integrative biologist interested in the intersection of ecology, evolution, physiology, and behavior. I've been conducting scientific studies (mostly on reptiles) since 1990 with graduate education focusing on comparative biology of lizards of the Neotropics (Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua) and North America (desert Southwest, Pacific Northwest). For the past two decades I've focused mostly on the integrative biology of Common Side-blotched Lizards (Uta stansburiana) as a model system. I generally spend about 100 days each year in the field advancing several lines of study with interests in the impacts of climate change on lizards especially as related to life-history evolution, activity behavior, physiological limitations, and ecological interactions.

I recently (February 2023) completed IDing all 36+k Uta from continental North America (I omitted the insular forms on purpose). The goal of this was to amass a dataset of those and to publish those data quantifying the accuracy of iNat. The paper is nearly complete and I'll post a link to my researchgate profile when it is published. If you would like a pdf when it comes out, you can send me a message.

Coming up? Back to Grand Canyon in June. I recently successfully navigated the maze of permits needed to collect lizards in Grand Canyon as a follow up to our 2021 trip. This project requires repeated visits in March and June to the Phantom Ranch area at the bottom of the canyon to study the behavior of lizards along a section of trail called "The Box". This is where Bright Angel Creek cuts through the basement rock (mostly granite) and creates a deep sheer-walled canyon that reportedly gets to 130 °F (54 °C) during the summer. Yet in March 2023 we captured three species in The Box (Sceloporus magister, Urosaurus ornatus, and Uta stansburiana) in The Box suggesting lizards are living in there, which raises several important questions: i) how are they able to survive such a hot environment, ii) are these populations likely to be extirpated as climate change continues to warm the environment, and iii) are such local extinctions likely to be top-down along the trophic pyramid (i.e. Sceloporus first) or bottom up (e.g., Uta first)?

To address these questions I led a team to backpack to Phantom Ranch over spring break in March. There we collected data on the insects, plants, and solar environment as well as creating baseline observations of the lizards that occupy The Box. If you have any observations of lizards in Grand Canyon, consider adding them to my project "Lizards of Grand Canyon".

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