Next Gen Herpetologist

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On Thursday the 1st of March I presented my masters research to the department in the form of a spoken presentation in the Zoology Department tea room. Although I still have a fare way to go before I complete my thesis, the talk was an awesome opportunity for me to show-off what I have done thus far. The abstract for the talk is printed below. Why ‘splitters’ are winners: a snakes tale… Read More

Today I received my samples back from their holiday in Amsterdam, and I am happy to announce that all but one sample worked. The samples from today coupled with the samples I received last month amount to 75 successfully sequenced samples to date. These samples, which comprise four genes, make up a large proportion of my sample set and thus represent a massive step forward in the completion of my thesis. But… Read More

I am roughly six months into my Master’s and this is my second post on the subject. Although I am not overly proud of my Msc coverage on the website, I am rather ‘chuffed’ with my research progress to date. My genetic samples are ‘amplifying’ and better yet, they are translating into clean, usable sequences, that I can move forward with. To put the previous sentence bluntly, my genetics are working and… Read More

Recently I was contacted by a Rhodes journalism student who was in the process of completing an article about snakes for the Grocotts Mail. Although strange to admit, given my current path as a MSc zoology student focusing on snake genetics, I was once in her shoes, completing my hours at the Midrand Reporter in pursuit of my second year Rhodes Journalism and Media Studies credit. Although I am very much a ‘science kid’ now, I… Read More

So as I am sure you have you gathered, I could not let the little ‘sheep stabbers’ go. Instead of just finishing my honours and leaving the skaapstekers in my rear view mirror, like I did with the painted reed frogs, I decided to continue on studying the snake with the addition of everyone else in the genus. Unlike with my honours, my masters will investigate the entire genus which is ‘currently’ six… Read More