Invasive Florida Burmese python paper published!

In the Castoe lab, I have contributed to our work seeking to explore a unique phenotype - regenerative organ growth - found in some snakes, including Burmese pythons. These snakes live in a monsoonal region and have evolved a remarkable adaptation to these climatic conditions: they will downregulate their internal physiology and break down their organ systems during long periods of fasting and then rapidly regenerate organ systems and kickstart their metabolism upon feeding. We have published several papers (see here, here, and here) on this unique system and it continues to be a main focus of the Castoe lab.

For the past several years I have led a parallel project on Burmese pythons that has become a major part of my dissertation, and I’m happy to report that this work has now been published! Our paper entitled “Novel Ecological and Climatic Conditions Drive Rapid Adaptation in Invasive Florida Burmese Pythons” is now available from Molecular Ecology. You can check out a PDF of the paper here.

In this article, we describe the work we did exploring evolution and adaptation in the well-known Florida population of invasive Burmese pythons. Remarkably, despite researching Burmese pythons in a parallel manner for several years, we have found that these research paths have now converged and tell us something about how Burmese pythons have thrived as an invasive species in Florida. You can learn all about it in the article or by reading this press release. Excited to finally have this paper out and, as this photo indicates, I enjoyed being able to work on this interesting model system during my PhD!

Burmese python