Steve's Herpetological Blog

An insight into the life of Steve, his research and the many books he reads


#SciFri: Midwife toads in the UK

Sorry for the delay in this fortnight’s #SciFri, I’ve been frantically bashing at a keyboard in order to write my Master’s Thesis so I’ve been a little pre-occupied. You’ll be glad to know that everything is going well and I’m certainly going to be finished before the deadline next week. I thought I’d mix things up a little with this edition of #SciFri and tell you all about a project I’m currently working on. I’ve already spoken about it at length (in part) at conferences and to quite a few people but the same questions keep popping up so I thought I’d use this time to explain everything and hopefully gain some more interest in the research itself.

One of the Cambridge midwife toads in-situ

As a lot of you will probably know by my continuous ramblings I’ve been busy doing a lot of research on the Cambridge midwife toad population. So far my team and I have been busy screening the toads for the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), the toads have so far proved to be clear of the disease. One of our burning questions is where did the toads come from? DNA analysis has shown that the toads came from northern Spain. It has long been asserted that all of the UK’s midwife toad populations came from France so know we are working to collect samples from other populations to test this hypothesis. In order to prevent further replication of the project details, please visit our GoFundMe page where you can find everything you’ll need to know! If you’ve got any questions, please post them in the comments below. If you’re on social media then you can follow #HerpHelix for all the latest updates.



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