Three of our experimental islands in the Panama Canal. We are releasing hundreds of uniquely marked lizards across these islands (and several others). The islands differ in their thermal environments, exposing some of the lizards to conditions that mimic climate change. Each generation, we track genetic and phenotypic change in each population in real time. This system, as well as our work in The Bahamas (see below), will give us invaluable insight into the evolutionary mechanisms involved in adaptation to rapid environmental change.
In 2013, in The Bahamas, we studied how lizards were adapting to offshore islands that differ in their thermal environments. This photo was taken on Coakely Island, an exceptionally hot cay that sits about 20 km off of the main island of Great Exuma. Lizards on this island are adapted to these very warm conditions. In the foreground sits our boat captain and guide, "Bonefish Stevie."