Biology at SBC



Following up on the success of our 2007 salamander survey, students in BIOL 224 (General Ecology) and BIOL 218 (Field Natural History) censused adult spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) as they came to breed in Guion Pond.

All photographs were taken by Linda Fink.


Sara Rothamel taught other students how to use VIE (visible implant elastomer) to mark salamanders



Practicing on gelatin

Practicing on a preserved salamander


Salamanders were collected at drift fences and brought to tents near the pond to be weighed and marked with VIE.





Salamanders caught near the pond or upper lake were released into the water, and males immediately produced spermatophores.







captured, sexed and weighed in one night!


Sara Rothamel is now tagging egg masses with VIE to measure their survival rate.






The 2008 salamander census was supervised by Professor Linda Fink, Naturalist-in-Residence Mike Hayslett, and Biology major Sara Rothamel, under a permit granted by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  Work was carried out by students in BIOL 218 (K. Bryan, M. Combs, L. Davis, S. Evans, M. MacIntire, W. Mills, A. Overman, H. Phillips, A. Rij, A. Robinson, L. Schwartz, N. Stapp, M.R. Taylor, J. Waitt) and BIOL 224 (A. Bailey, A. Baker, S. Bieser, S. Cappello, M. Degnin, S. Evans, E. Franklin, J. Johnson, K. Mauri, R. Rich, H. Riggleman, M.R. Taylor, J. Waitt, G. Wilson, E. Wittle), plus Professors Rob Alexander, Janet Steven and Dan Gottlieb, and students K. Wieditz, H. Bradshaw, N. Pham, M. Maloney and L. Hankinson.

Stories about this year's project appeared on the SBC news site and in the Lynchburg News and Advance.

More about last year's salamander study...


Site maintained by L.S. Fink
Sweet Briar College
Sweet Briar VA 24595
Last modified May 2010