Invasive Predators and Amphibian Decline
First-Year Student as Scholars Seminar
Dr. Lee Kats, Frank R. Seaver Chair in Natural Science and Professor of Biology, Pepperdine University
Our research focuses on the role of invasive predators in amphibian decline, specifically in freshwater streams of the Santa Monica Mountains of southern California, near Malibu. Invasive species can harm native amphibians by competing for resources, transmitting disease, hybridizing, or through direct predation on adults, eggs, or larvae. Native amphibians are especially susceptible because they have not evolved mechanisms of invasive detection or avoidance. Students engaged in this class will learn the scientific method and experimental approaches in behavioral ecology to quantify predator avoidance and competition for resources, as well as correlative analysis of stream surveys comparing streams with and without the presence of invasive predators.