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Check Out the Evolutionary Fast-Track: Plight of the Green Anoles - A Free Lecture at the Oxbow Eco-Center July 26

Post Date:07/14/2017 7:29 AM

Something rather extraordinary has taken place on the Indian River Lagoon spoil islands: A victory for the underdogs in a fight for survival. Scientists have found proof of rapid-fire evolution amongst green anole populations due to the invading brown anole. 

Join Nick Herrmann at the Oxbow Eco-Center, in partnership with the Friends of the Spoil Islands, on Wednesday, July 26 from 6 to 7 p.m. as he presents his research and discusses future plans for learning more about this fascinating phenomenon.  

This summer, Herrmann, a Ph.D. student and biologist from Harvard University, began working with the Anolis lizards (a.k.a. anoles) of the Indian River Lagoon spoil islands. Over the past several decades, the invasive brown anole from Cuba has competed with the native green anole, forcing the green anole to perch higher above the ground. As a result of this habitat shift, green anoles have evolved larger, better developed toepads on very short timescales. Herrmann is interested in knowing whether the ecological and evolutionary effects of brown anole invasion on the green anole are reversible.  He will discuss his plan to remove brown anoles from several spoil islands to better understand how these two lizard species interact and to track how brown anole removal alters the course of green anole evolution.  For those of you looking to make your own contribution to science, volunteer opportunities are available.

This presentation is free to the public and appropriate for all inquisitive minds over the age of 12.  For more information or questions please call 772-785-5833 or email to oxbow@stlucieco.org or visit www.oxboweco.com.

Managed by St. Lucie County’s Environmental Resources Department, the Oxbow Eco-Center is located at 5400 NE St. James Drive in Port St. Lucie.

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