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Anderson Lab

Comparative Functional Morphology, Biomechanics & the Physiology of Movement

University of South Dakota, Department of Biology

Lab News & Press Coverage:


November 2019

- Our paper on variation of the gular pouch in chameleons was published in its accepted form in The Anatomical Record!


October 2019

- Our paper with collaborators at Western Kentucky University on variation of the gular pouch in chameleons was accepted for publication in The Anatomical Record!


July 2019

- Chris presented research from the lab at the International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology (ICVM) meeting in Prague, Czech Republic.


May 2019

- Patrick Reiter successfully defended his honor's thesis on patterns of adaptive radiation in anoles from Martinique!


April 2019

- Chris has been appointed Chair of the Chameleon Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC). The IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) is a science-based network of more than 8,000 volunteer experts depoloyed into more than 150 Specialist Groups, Red List Authorities, Task Forces, and Sub-Committees to bring together the highest level of expertise on the status of species, and the actions needed to conserve and use them sustainably. In his position of chair of the Chameleon Specialist Group, Dr. Anderson will be responsible for guiding the activities of this group with an evidence-based approach and scientific knowledge directed at the implementation of conservation actions and public policies that lead to the reduction of the extinction risk for members of this enigmatic lizard family.

- Rachel Drown presented results from her master's thesis, and Patrick Reiter and Lucas Crownover both presented results from their honor's theses at USD's IdeaFest!

- Chris gave a guest lecture at Saddleback College as part of their Science Lecture Series.


March 2019

- Chris published an observation with collaborator Andrea Liebl from recentl field work in Costa Rica of a coralsnake species known primarily to feed on swamp eels feeding on a snake. See the Publications page for a link to the article.


January 2019

- The Anderson lab presented three posters at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) meeting in Tampa, Florida! Among them, Rachel Drown (MS Student) presented preliminary results on the functional basis of chameleon variable antipredator behaviors and Lucas Crownover (undergraduate student) presented preliminary results on chameleon axial skeleton variation.


October 2018

- Chris talked about chameleons, including research in the Anderson Lab, at Nerd Night in Vermillion!


August 2018

- Chris traveled to Costa Rica with Dr. Andrea Liebl (USD) to collect Anolis lizards for their ongoing collaborative work with Tom Roberts (Brown University)!


May 2018

- Chris co-taught a two week Field Ecology course in Kenya with Dr. Andrea Liebl!

- Alexa Kruse successfully defended her honor's thesis on retinal topography in spadefoot toads!


April 2018

- Alexa Kruse presented her honor's thesis and Marisa Helm presented her research at USD's IdeaFest!


March 2018

- Chris traveled to Costa Rica with Dr. Andrea Liebl (USD) to collect Anolis lizards for their ongoing collaborative work with Tom Roberts (Brown University)!

- Rachel Drown received a John W. Carlson Research Grant from the College of Arts & Sciences for her MS thesis work!


January 2018

- Some of our work on chameleon feeding has been featured in a video on the California Academy of Science's online magazine bioGraphic. Click here to see it!

- Samuel Tegge, a Master's student from Western Kentucky University collaborator Steve Huskey's lab, is visiting the Anderson Lab for an intensive week collecting muscle physiology data related to our research on vibratory signals produced by chameleons!

- Chris went to Friday Harbor Laboratories (University of Washington) to work on his project to Scan All The Chameleons! Chris now has µCT scans from 233 specimens, representing 155 species (+5 additional subspecies), including all 12 genera of chameleons! Thats 75% of all described chameleon species!


December 2017

- Chris traveled to Costa Rica with Dr. Andrea Liebl (USD) to collect Anolis lizards for their ongoing collaborative work with Tom Roberts (Brown University)!


August 2017

- Rachel Drown has joined the Anderson Lab to work on an M.S. focusing on chameleon behavioral ecology!

- Chris traveled to Chipiona, Spain to conduct field work on chameleon feeding and vibratory communication in Chamaeleo chamaeleon with Kris Karsten (California Lutheran University)!


July 2017

- Chris traveled to Costa Rica with Dr. Andrea Liebl (USD) to collect Anolis lizards for their ongoing collaborative work with Tom Roberts (Brown University)!


June 2017

- Samuel Tegge, a Master's student from Western Kentucky University collaborator Steve Huskey's lab, just completed a very successful visit to the Anderson Lab for a month of collecting EMG recordings during vibratory signals produced in chameleons!


May 2017

- Chris went to Friday Harbor Laboratories (University of Washington) to work on his project to Scan All The Chameleons! During his visit he was able to get µCT scans from over 140 specimens, representing all 12 genera of chameleons. Chris will be attempting to scan as much of the remaining diversity of chameleons as possible in the coming year.


March 2017

- Chris traveled to Tanzania as part of a delegation from the IUCN Chameleon Specialist Group. This delegation was invited by the Tanzanian Ministry of National Resources and Tourism to assist the Tanzanian Management Authorities in identifying and addressing issues relating to the conservation, illegal trade and sustainable use of chameleons in Tanzania. After meeting with representatives of the Ministry of National Resources and Tourism, TRAFFIC, Wildlife Conservation Society, USAID, UNDP, the University of Dar es Salaam, and members of the Tanzanian Wildlife Exporters Association, Dr. Anderson and Dr. Richard Jenkins developed and presented a preliminary plan for a Tanzanian Chameleon Conservation and Management Strategy.


December 2016

- A paper coauthored with researchers in Florida on the reproduction of the Oustalet's Chameleon (Furcifer oustaleti) in its introduced range in Florida was published in Southeastern Naturalist!

- A Natural History Note writen by myself, Anne-Claire Fabre and Anthony Herrel on an unusually colored specimen of Anolis roquet observed during field work in Martinique was published in Herpetological Review!


August 2016

- I've just moved in to my office at the University of South Dakota and am in the process of starting my new lab!

- Our KY NSF EPSCoR grant to examine vibrational communication in chameleons with collegues at WKU has been funded!


July 2016

- I presented results of research comparing the muscle contractile physiology of locomotor and feeding muscles at the Society of Experimental Biology meeting in Brighton, United Kingdom!


February 2016

- I've accepted an Assistant Professor position in the Department of Biology at the University of South Dakota starting in the Fall of 2016!

- I was interviewed by Inside Science for a media article covering a recent study by Preest et al. in Physiological and Biochemical Zoology examining the chameleon temporal gland!


January 2016

- My new paper on the scaling of chameleon feeding performance was published in Scientific Reports and has received media attention from over 240 news outlets worldwide, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, NewsWeek, Science (AAAS), and IFLScience!

- I presented results of research comparing the muscle contractile physiology of locomotor and feeding muscles, and my undergraduate student, Noel Park, presented results of research comparing muscle twitch times and gait dynamics in Anolis lizards at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting in Portland, Oregon!


August 2015

- National Geographic Magazine interviewed me for an article on chameleons. This article was published in the September print issue of the magazine and was featured online. The online article also included a video on chameleons that I narrate and appear in.

The article can be read online here: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/09/chameleons/edmonds-text

The video can be viewed here: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/09/chameleons/colors-video


January 2015

- I presented results of research examining the effect of body size on chameleon tongue projection performance at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida, and the findings were covered by Nature World News and Science News!


November & December 2014

- The IUCN/SSC Chameleon Specialist Group's fundraising efforts to look for Chapman's Pygmy Chameleon (Rhampholeon chapmanorum), which hasn't been seen in over 15 years and appears to be the most range restricted chameleon on earth, was covered by The Independent, The Guardian, and Mongabay.com!

- Chris is interviewed by Mongabay.com on the current conservation status of the world's chameleons stemming from newly released IUCN Red List data, which the IUCN/SSC Chameleon Specialist Group helped update!


March 2011

- The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s TV science program called Catalyst covered my PNAS paper from last year on the thermal insensitivity of chameleon tongue projection!


March 2010

- My new paper on the effect of temperature on elastic-powered tongue projection in chameleons was published in PNAS and has received media attention from over 30 news outlets worldwide, including the BBC, NPR, Scientific American, Discover Magazine and CBS' "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson"!


September 2008

- Discovery Channel Canada’s nightly science magazine show “Daily Planet” featured a segment on my research looking at the effect of temperature on chameleon feeding performance!






News & Press

Kinyongia fischeri

© 2009 Christopher V. Anderson