Position: Lab Assistant
Phone: 02 9351 3996
Fax: 02 9351 5609
Location: Room 207, A08 - Heydon-Laurence Building, University of Sydney, NSW 2006
I began my association with the Shine Lab by volunteering to assist Professor Shine radio-track a population of brown tree snakes (Boiga irregularis) in bushland just outside of Sydney. It was not long after this that the all wise, all knowing Professor, discovered that the force was strong with me. For fear of losing me to the dark side (or marine biology as it is some times called) Rick decided to enlist me as one of his Jedi padawans aka research assistant. This is the story I like to tell myself, but it is more likely that I was employed due to my ability to carry large amounts of field equipment and my somewhat fanatical love of reptiles, in particular the serpent the most majestic creature of them all.
I have been fascinated by snakes for most of my life, and lucky for me I found employment at the right place to feed my curiosity. To me no other order of animals show the diversity of adaptations to the environment and its extremes as well as the snake. From the subterranian Blind Snake (Ramphotyphlops sp.), whose diet consists solely of ants and their eggs, to the ocean going Hydrophiids that spend their entire lives at sea (unless of course they get caught in a storm and are washed ashore), never venturing onto land, not even to give birth. To me they are all amazing.
As my title suggests, my job involves assisting Professor Shine and the other members of the Shine lab with the many research projects currently underway.
||Shine, R., andJ. Thomas. 2005. Do lizards and snakes really differ in their ability to take large prey? A study of relative prey mass and feeding tactics in lizards. Oecologia 144:492-498.|
||Elphick, M. J.,J. Thomas, and R. Shine. 2006. Courtship and copulation in the southern water skink,Eulamprus heatwolei.Herpetofauna 36:25-26.
||Warner, D.,J. Thomas, and R. Shine. 2007. A simple and reliable method for attaching radio-transmitters to lizards. Herpetological Conservation Biology:in press.|