SSAR Blog

Thursday, July 30, 2015

We are pleased to announce that this year's Herpetology Quiz will offer a total of $1800 worth of SSAR publications as prizes! The herpetological quiz comprises of 50 questions based on broad herpetological topics. Each question is worth 1 point and a total of 50 possible points. KU Herpetology Graduate Students will offer two opportunities to take the quiz: Friday and Saturday evenings from 5-6pm in the Pine room on Level 6 of the Kansas Union. The format is a multiple choice and will include many questions based on images. The prize pool will be divided among competitors in three categories: undergraduates graduate students. Winners will be announced during the auction!

 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Kansas has a very rich herpetofauna, with about 100 native species of amphibians and reptiles. Live specimens of nearly every species will be on display this week for the SSAR meeting, with the exception of venomous snakes. The live animal exhibit will occur in Gathering Room 1 of the Oread Hotel on Thursday 4-8pm and Friday through Sunday 8:30am-6pm ad is open to the public. Species on exhibit will include: Western Narrow mouth Toad (Gastrophryne olivacea), Western Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium), Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii), Eastern Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris), Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum), Western Milksnake (Lampropeltis gentilis), and Grahamês Crayfish Snake (Regina grahami). This will be a unique opportunity to observe these animals upclose and be able to photograph them. Staff members can answer questions and assist with photography. SSAR started live displays at its meetings in 1968 as a conservation measure to offset collection of wild animals in the vicinity of meeting venues. Turning loose hundreds of eager herpetologists in one locale is bound to have negative effects on the local herpetofauna. Additionally, many species are highly seasonal or difficult to find, so having local herpetologists make a representative collection over the course of a year or more is ideal. We are most grateful to the membership of the Kansas Herpetological Society for making the herculean effort to bring all these animals together and for getting the necessary permits from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks,and Tourism to do so. Many specimens come from the live collection of the Sternberg Museum of Natural History at Fort Hays State University. In particular, we wish to thank Dexter Mardis, Curtis Schmidt, Travis Taggart, and Chris Visser. The person in charge of the exhibit is Dan Fogell (email:dfogell@southeast.edu). Please contact him if you have any special needs, concerns, or questions.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The following schedule changes occurred after our program was printed.

New Talk

Alfonso et al.

Population divergence and taxonomic implications in Anolis porcus (Squamata: Dactyloidae) from the eastern Cuban paleo-archipelago

Moved from poster session to oral session (Sunday, 11:45-noon in Big 12 Room)

New Poster

Gross et al.

Habitat use, dispersal, hibernation, and survival of maternal and neonatal Copperheads (Crotalinae; Agkistrodon) in a managed southeastern forest landscape.

Added to Poster Session #2

Cancelled

Kawai et al.

Stable isotope analysis of trophic dynamics and terrestrial food web compartmentalization in lizard communities in Madagascar

Oral presentation cancelled from Seibert Competition session on July 31st at 2PM

 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Due to a last minute maintenance issue with one of our meeting rooms, we have had to make a number of significant changes to the schedule for SSAR 2015. All of these scheduling changes are reflected in the meeting's final program, which is available for download now as a PDF (you can distinguish the final program from earlier versions of the schedule because it includes a cover sheet and an opening section on General Information for Attendees that were lacking in previously released schedules). All attendees will receive the final program in the form of a printed booklet at registration.

If you haven't paid any attention to the schedule up to this point, you shouldn't have to worry about the changes discussed below and can move directly to the current program. If you have made plans based on any version of the schedule available prior to July 29th, you should review the scheduling changes noted below, which impact several important and popular conference events, including the location for Registration and the Presidential Travelogue on Thursday evening, the location of the morning plenaries on Friday, and location for the AV shows.

1. Registration on Thursday, July 30th was originally scheduled to occur in the Union but will now take place only in the Oread Hotel from 4pm - 8pm. Please change your plans to arrive at the Oread Hotel rather than the Union if you intend to register immediately upon your Thursday arrival. The Oread is only a short walk from the Union and staff and signage will be available to assist those who arrive at the original Union location.

2. The opening Presidential Travelogue on Thursday night has been moved from Woodruff Auditorium in the Union to the Griffith Ballroom/All Season's Den at the Oread Hotel. This event will now feature snacks and a full bar (previously it had neither).

3. Plenary sessions on the morning of Friday, July 30th have been moved from Woodruff Auditorium to the Ballroom (also on Level 5 of the Union). The refreshment break between the two morning plenaries will take place in the Ballroom as previously scheduled.

4. To make way for the morning plenaries, the morning portion of Poster Session #1 has been moved to the Jayhawk Room, which is next door to the Ballroom. Poster presenters in session #1 will be able to set-up their posters prior to the start of the session either between 4 and 8pm on Thursday or on Friday morning between 7:30 and 8:30am (posters may also be set-up after the session officially starts at 9am on Friday). Upon completion of the plenary and removal of the seating required for this event, Union staff will move Poster Session #1 into the Ballroom. Poster session authors need not assist with this process. The author reception for Poster Session #1 will occur in the Ballroom as originally scheduled.

5. Exhibitor set-up will be permitted as originally scheduled on Thursday from 4pm - 8pm in the Kansas Ballroom. Exhibitor set-up may also be accomplished on Friday morning from 7:30-8:30 am. During this set-up period, each exhibitor booth will be short two tables to provide space for the stadium seating necessitated by the morning plenaries. These two tables will be restored following completion of the morning plenary and will remain in place throughout the remainder of the meeting (barring additional unforeseen complications).

6. The Harry Greene plenary on Saturday morning at 8:30am has been moved from Woodruff Auditorium to the Big 12 Room, also on Level 5 of the Union.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Still looking for a place to stay for the SSAR 2015 meetings in Lawrence? We still have space in the dormitories at prices ranging from $40-60 per person per night. All dormitory rooms must be reserved at least one week prior to the start of the meeting and will not be available for walk-ups. Because we have already sent out notices for room-mate preferences, we also may not be able to accommodate matches with preferred room-mates for late sign-ups. If you did not sign up for dormitory lodging at the time of registration you can still add a reservation to your registration by contacting the registration professionals available at (785) 864-5823 or toll free (877) 404-5823. Some photographs of the dormitory might give you a better idea of what life there will be like.

Dormitory lounge

The lounge on the first level of the GSP dormitory.

Entraceway to the dormitory rooms at GSP.

Double room in the GSP dormitory. Bedding will be provided to all attendees to sign up for a dormitory bed.

Shared bathroom in the GSP dormitory. Private baths are not available for guests in the dormitories.

Shared bathrooms in the GSP dormitory have private shower stalls.

Breakfast is included in the price of dormitory rooms and will be served in the "North College Cafe" dining area on the ground level of the GSP dormitory.

View from the porch of the GSP dormitory. The tall building in the background is the Oread Hotel, which will host numerous meeting events. The Kansas Union is just beyond the Oread. All meeting venues are a short walk from the dormitory.

View from the porch of the dormitory looking back toward downtown Lawrence. The large buildings in the middle of this frame are in downtown Lawrence.

 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Agenda for SSAR 2015 is now available in PDF format. The agenda includes information on scheduling for all of the conference's major events. Detailed schedule for oral talks will be posted shortly.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The May 15 deadline for submitting titles and abstracts for oral presentations and posters for SSAR 2015 is now only one week away!  We have already received a large number of submissions, so be sure to submit as soon as possible to ensure that we don't run out of space for your presentation. If you are a student, we encourage you to consider signing up for one of the student presentation competitions sponsored by SSAR. The option to join these competitions is available via the abstract submission portal.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


We are pleased to announce that all attendees of SSAR 2015 will receive an 11-by-15–inch commemorative poster featuring a spectacular new watercolor of a male collared lizard by natural history artist David M. Dennis. Dennis's artwork is well-known to herpetologists and has been reproduced in many books including Bill Duellman's "Hylid Frogs of Middle America." The posters are high quality printings on card stock and are laminated for durability. Posters will be available at registration and throughout the meeting to all registered attendees.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The previously scheduled tours of the eastern Kansas field sites of legendary snake ecologist Henry Fitch on the afternoon of Thursday, July 30 have already filled to capacity. We were pleased with the outpouring of enthusiasm for this very special SSAR 2015 event and are now pleased to announce that George Pisani has agreed to open up four additional Fitch Reserve tour time slots at 9:00 and 2:00 pm, on both Friday and Saturday; with transportation provided from the meeting venue. Sign up now by contacting the conference organizers via e-mail (ssar2015@ku.edu)!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

We are still early in the registration process, but space in all of our tours and field trips is filling quickly. We are offering tours of KU Herpetology and a field trip to the Henry Fitch Natural HIstory Reserve on the afternoon of the meetings' first day (Thursday, July 30th) and a tour of Allen Press on the day after the meeting (Monday, August 3rd). Capacity for all of these trips is limited due to space and transportation issue, and all of them are already at least half full. Be sure to sign up soon if you want to go on a tour or field trip! You can book a spot in any on of these trips or tours at the time of registration. If you are already registered and would like to book a spot on one of the trips please contact the conference coordinators via e-mail (ssar2015@ku.edu).