The Chatfield Lab
at the University of Maine
The staggering global decline of reptiles and amphibians is one of conservation biology’s biggest challenges. Research in the Chatfield Lab focuses on two areas: (1) The Maine Wood Turtle Project aims to understand the ecology and evolution of the charismatic North American wood turtle, an endangered species that is declining throughout its range and is listed as a species of special concern in Maine. This work provides crucial information to support conservation and management of this endangered species by working alongside government, non-profit, and community stakeholders. (2) The Amphibian Health Project aims to identify drivers of amphibian declines, especially the impact of emergent diseases and the effects these may have when combined with other environmental stressors. Amphibians are the most endangered vertebrate class on earth, and developing a holistic understanding of what is driving population declines is central to halting the extinction crisis. We at the Chatfield Lab believe that teaching and mentorship – revolving around these two research areas and other critically important topics – is essential if we are to curb the herpetofaunal conservation crisis.