The Powers lab has collaborated with Dr. Robert Mason and his Ph.D. student Chris Friesen (finishing in September) for the past five years on research that has shed light on the reproductive energetics of the red-sided garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis parietals). This year Don Powers and research student Katie Langland traveled to Manitoba, Canada to study the role body temperature plays in female attractiveness to males. The primary method used this year was infrared thermograph which allowed recording of snake surface temperature.
Infrared thermography has been a tool in the Powers lab for the past couple years for studying heat dissipation in calliope hummingbirds. Funding from NASA has allowed the lab to purchase their own IR camera providing flexibility to use the technique in a broader range of studies. This study on red-sided garter snakes has allowed us to work out protocols that will be used later this summer in Arizona on projects related to the NASA research. Watch our YouTube video! Below are a few images from our trip to Manitoba. If you would like to see the entire Flickr photo set click here.