Dr. Lee Grismer, Professor of Biology
Last month Dr. Grismer completed DNA analysis of a cave gecko and confirmed its status as a new species.
Last month Dr. Grismer completed DNA analysis of a cave gecko and confirmed its status as a new species. The gecko is small and brown with wide, dark stripes and big eyes. He captured the creature last summer in a mountain cave near the Malaysia-Thailand border, a new find that was included in a BBC documentary depicting the world’s top 10 species discoveries. The species discovery was particularly significant in that the cave gecko seemed to be transitioning from a forest life to a cave existence, a metamorphic process science usually does not have the opportunity to document. Its color and patters seemed to be muting compared to its tree-climbing, forest gecko cousin that lives outside the cave, and its body was thinner and had longer limbs for easier wall climbing.
Dr. Grismer and his Malaysian colleagues are writing an article about their findings to be submitted to the scientific journal Zootaxa. The article is expected to appear before the year’s end. Over the past months, Dr. Grismer’s species discoveries have been the topic of news stories on CNN, National Public Radio and BBC Radio.
He takes off March 19 for another trip to Malaysia, ultimately aiming for an island in the Indian Ocean known as a hide out for modern-day pirates. The island is very likely the home of more amazing animals new to the world of science.