The Micro-ornamentation on the Skin of Carphodactylidae, Diplodactylida, and to a Smaller Extent, Pygopodidae Geckos under Ecological and Evolutionary Aspects

Author: Josef Simme
Major: Biology
Approved: Fall 2016
Status: Completed

My research study will be looking at the skin micro-ornamentation structure of three genera of geckos (Carphodactylidae, Diplodactylida, and on a smaller extent, Pygopodidae) in the tropical northeast area of Queensland, Australia. I will be working with Jendrian Riedel, a James Cook University PhD student, under the supervision of Dr. Lin Schwarzkopf, professor at James Cook University during the spring semester of my Junior year 2017. I will be collecting geckos out in the field and keeping them at a laboratory at the University where I will observe, describe and compare the currently unknown skin micro-ornamentation structures of each of these three genera of geckos. Evolution of each will be examined in addition to finding patterns of microstructures typical for species of certain habitats. The research questions I will be asking are: how did these skin structures evolve and are there different patterns of structures typical for geckos of different habitats.