Each week a “Herper” of the Week is chosen. These individuals come from all sorts of backgrounds but they all have one common interest – “herps” (reptiles and amphibians). Hopefully, you will learn about them and their important work.
The Herper of this Week is Dr. Julia E. Earl, assistant professor of aquatic ecology at the Louisiana Tech University. She earned her Ph.D in Biological Sciences in 2012 from the University of Missouri . Her dissertation focused on the effects of leaves from forests on pond ecosystems and amphibians.
Her lab focuses on a few different topics. One of the topics is the effect of Ranavirus on population dynamics. Dr. Earl created population models of the Dusky Gopher Frog, Wood Frog, and the Boreal Toad to explore if the introduction of Ranavirus could cause population extinctions. She also studies climate changes effects on animals’ long-distance movement paths including bison, coyotes, and deer. In relation to amphibians, she researches the different forestry practices and how they affect amphibians in hopes of protecting amphibians while still reaching the forestry goals.