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New Scientific Paper Explores Biofluorescence in Amphibians

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WRA’s Marisa Ishimatsu is a co-author of a recent scientific paper “Biofluorescence in California Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma californiense (Amphibia: Ambystomatidae)” in the scientific journal, Herpetology Notes. This online, open access journal is published by the Societas Europaea Herpetologica (SEH).

While walking on a rainy night in Santa Cruz County looking for salamanders, Marisa found an adult California tiger salamander* using a UV flashlight and was surprised to see the amphibian’s biofluorescence underneath the light. She posted her find to social media and was contacted by Brandon Kong, a gradudate student at California Polytechnic State University. Brandon was in the process of writing up his findings on lab studies of salamander biofluorescence and asked Marisa to a co-author on the paper.

This interaction serves as a great reminder that communication and collaboration in the scientific community are vitally important and causal observations are important data points. Biofluorescence in vertebrates is just now being researched and skilled biologists like Marisa are excited to be a part of the research.

*this individual is actually a hybrid between a California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) and the non-native barred tiger salamander (Ambystoma mavortium).