How It All Got Started
The Herptetology lab is run by Dr. Eileen Underwood. Dr. Underwood holds a PhD. from Indiana Universiy in Molecular, Cell, and Develpmental Biology. After 25 years of genetic research in fruit flies, Dr. Underwood made the decision to research life on a less microscopic level and started the lab in 1997 after keeping reptiles in her home as pets. The collection is used for educational demonstration at local schools, the university, other local groups, as well as for research purposes. Animals that are researched are bred in the lab, as are many of the animals used in demonstrations. Breeding the animals for colour and pattern is important in understanding their genetic traits. The lab is run by student volunteers that feed, handle and care for the lab residents.
Dr. Underwood's collection includes snakes, lizards, turtles and frogs. There are over 55 species of animals in the lab, including:
23 species of snakes
4 species of turtles/tortoises
9 species of frogs
18 species of lizards
Overall, there are over 200 animals in the lab. The vast assortment of species in the lab represents a small portion of the variety of animals studied through the facinating science of Herpetology, as well as the variety of reptiles and amphibians in the world.