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Life sciences/Organismal biology/Animals/Vertebrates/Reptiles

Karen Lips is well-aware of the importance of strategic science communication in affecting environmental policy. In November 2014, she and her colleague Joseph Mendelson published an op-ed in the New York Times warning of a pathogenic fungus spreading among European salamanders that could decimate salamander populations in the United States. She and Mendelson urged prompt government action. Within a year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued an interim rule that shut down importation of 201 salamander species to the U.S. “Getting to the New York Times was key,” she says, in making this a higher policy priority.
Electrical brain activity measured in bearded dragons suggests these patterns evolved in the common ancestor of mammals, birds, and reptiles.