People.

  Anne Devan    

 

For the past year, I have been collecting data on the diet and endoparasite composition of wild pythons in order to better understand python-rat interactions in Singapore’s urban landscape. Handling pythons for a year made my project experience an exhilarating one, and I have learned a lot in the process and met some amazing people over the course of my research.

 

In summary, pythons of all sizes were found to play a unique ecological role in controlling urban rat populations through predation and participating in the cycling of the coccidian endoparasite Sarcocystis. Further analysis of results revealed an intricate python-prey relationship that is in constant flux, and there is evidence when comparing with data from prior studies that increasing habitat disturbance may be detrimental to this relationship. Overall conclusions point to the conservation value of urban reticulated pythons and much-needed further research on this under-studied snake.

 

I miss my beautiful pythons very much, but after graduation it’s onwards and upwards! From May of 2010 to March 2011, I will be traveling around Southeast Asia as a field assistant on various herp-related projects, learning a lot and meeting amazing reptiles, amphibians and people.

 

Plans after my eight-month stint around the region are slightly hazy at the moment, although further studies, snakes and hard work will definitely be featured.

 


Apart from schoolwork, I am involved in Project Semakau, a conservation project surveying the biodiversity of Pulau Semakau, Singapore. I also founded Backyard Biology, a conservation outreach group where we arrange field trips to cool places and take (mostly amateur) photographs.

 


In my free time I make interesting sounds, teach impressionable young people how to make these sounds, and do odd things with charcoal and ink