Christian D'Orgeix

Virginia State University

Each summer Dr. Christian d’Orgeix brings students from Virginia State University to the Research Ranch to conduct research on Slevin’s bunchgrass lizards, Sceloporus slevini. Dr. d’Orgeix’s group gathers data to address a number of different research questions: Has the population at the ranch undergone a genetic bottleneck? How does the ranch population compare evolutionarily to populations in the San Rafael Valley and Huachuca mountains? Is there still gene flow (interbreeding) between these populations or are they isolated and if so for how long have they been isolated? Another project involves surveying high and low elevation populations to test the hypothesis that lower elevation populations are at greater risk of extinction from global warming than higher elevation populations. The Research Ranch is one of the two low elevation populations used for comparison. They also continue to document the occurrence and life history of the threatened Mexican gartersnake on the ranch. This research is sponsored by a National Science Foundation HBCU-UP grant.

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