It is time for some belated field notes, since I am already back in the lab. I had a very busy and exciting field season, working on several aspects of the social behaviour of the sleepy lizard, Tiliqua rugosa.
I basically ran two projects during the field season:
Project on social networks: I used an experimental approach to investigate the drivers and the consequences of sleepy lizard social networks. I collected data on a range of different aspects, including animal personalities, ecto- parasites and gut bacteria.
Project on pair bonds: sleepy lizards form long-term pair bonds and I investigated whether pair bond strength is related to the pair bond duration.
I attached miniature and light weight GPS units to all lizards of the study population to record very detailed data on social interactions between all lizards. This is very labour intensive and I had two great volunteers helping me with the data collection, Lewis McPherson from the Central Coast and Victor Etevenot, who came all the way from France. Great work, guys.
We stayed at Bundey Bore Station during our field work. That’s the long-term field station of the Bull lab. It is a great place to work – with its stunning sunsets, lizards and other wildlife.
Now I am back in Adelaide, analysing the detailed data that we collected. So stay tuned for some updates and future publications.