Herpetology Lab

Mission

We aim to produce quality human resource to address contemporary problems dealing with animal ecology and conservation by doing research on cross cutting issues.


Funding sources

We established herpetology lab at the Department of Zoology, Wildlife and Fisheries, under an international research grant (International Foundation for Science, Sweden, grant#5459-1, amount: 12,000 USD) and an NRPU awarded by the Higher Education Commission, Pakistan (grant#3170, amount: 8.20 million Pak. Rs.).

Focal Species

Our work primarily focuses species of amphibians and reptiles associated with wetlands (Riverine, Lacustrine, Palustrine, Forested and Urban Wetlands). Besides this, we also work on water birds or mammals associated with wetland ecosystems.


Research Themes and Scientific Tools

We work on relative abundance estimation, morphometry, population monitoring, species occupancy analysis, species distribution modeling, metapopulation, movement pattern, climate change, molecular taxonomy and method development using scientific tools such as Radiotelemetry (VHF), Animal Marking (VIE, PIT tags), Bioaccoustics, DNA barcoding, Remote sensing/GIS and eDNA.


Facilities and equipments

Our lab is equipped with radiotelemetry gear, GPS, sound recorder (manual and automated), weather meter, stream flow meter, water quality analyzer, animal marking kit (PIT tags, reader, VIE), snake handling sticks, DSLR camera (with an additional Macro lens), centrifuge, ArcMap 10.5.1 (licensed), Raven software and a few dozen specimens of amphibians and reptiles. We also have a tadpole rearing facility at our lab.


Five Recent Publications

  • Saeed M, Rais M*, Akram A, Williams MR, Kellner KF, Hashsham SA, Davis DR. 2022. Development and validation of an eDNA protocol for monitoring endemic Asian spiny frogs in the Himalayan region of Pakistan.Scientific Reports (Nature). 12: 5624 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-09084-1 (IF= 4.996, Category= W)
  • Balouch , S., Driscoll1, D.A., Naseer, A., Rais, M. and Doherty, T.S. 2022. Impacts of land cover on reptile movement and habitat use in farming landscapes. Animal Conservation (John Wiley and Sons). doi:10.1111/acv.12789. (IF= 4.371, Category= W)
  • Akram, A., Rais, M., Lopez, K., Tarvin, R. D., Saeed, M., Bolnick, D. I., and Cannatella, D. C. 2021. An insight into molecular taxonomy of bufonids, microhylids and dicroglossid frogs: First genetic records from Pakistan. Ecology and Evolution. http://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.8134 (IF= 3.167, Category= W)
  • Saeed, M., Rais, M., Gray, R.J., Ahmed, W., Gill1, S., Akram, A. and Fareed, G. 2021. Rise in temperature causes decreased fitness and higher extinction risks in endemic frogs at high altitude forested wetlands in Northern Pakistan. Journal of Thermal Biology 95. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtherbio.2020.102809 (IF= 3.189, Category= W)
  • Rais, M., Ahmed, W., Sajjad, A., Akram, A., Saeed, M., Hamid, HN. and Abid, A. 2021. Amphibian fauna of Pakistan with notes on future prospects of research and conservation. Zookeys. https://doi.org/10.15468/uhhpxg (IF= 1.492, Category= W)


Team Leader

Dr. Muhammad Rais, Assistant Professor, Zoology, Wildlife and Fisheries, PMAS-AAUR

Post-Doc: Australia (2015), Trainings in Herpetology USA (2013) and India (2012)


Member of IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group, Conservation Planning Specialist Group, Species Survival Commission, Commission on Ecosystem Management (Thematic groups: Forest Ecosystems, Mountain Ecosystems, Wetland Ecosystems, Biosphere Reserves and Sustainable Use and Management of Ecosystems), Executive Council Member (2022-2026 and 2017-2021), Zoological Society of Pakistan (Established 1968)


Awards



  • Future Leader in Amphibian Conservation Award (2020) awarded by Amphibian Survival Alliance
  • Australia Awards, Professional Development Opportunity for Pakistan (2020), Government of Australia.
  • Dr. Aleem Chudhary Gold medal (March, 2019) awarded by Zoological Society of Pakistan



Collaborators and Partners

Amphibian Survival Alliance International, Zoological Research Museum Alexander K├Ânig, Germany and Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.


Mentors

  • Dr. Muhammad Zaheer Khan, (Retd.) Professor, Department of Zoology (Wildlife), University of Karachi, Pakistan.
  • Prof. Dr. Bruce Kingsbury, Department of Biology, Purdue University, Indiana, USA.
  • Prof. Dr. Don Driscoll, Terrestrial Ecology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Director, Centre for Integrative Ecology, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Dr. Bernd Gruber, Associate Professor, Spatial and Ecological Modelling, Institute for Applied Ecology, University of Canberra, Australia.


If you are interested in joining us as a research scholar (MS/ PhD) or volunteer/internee (unpaid), please contact at [email protected].

Lab Equipment



Animal Marking Equipment



Burrowing Frog



Chitra indica



Stream Flow Meter and Vernier Caliper



Hazara Frog



Murree Hills Frog with BD-2 transmitter



Radiotelemetry



Sound recorders



Specimens



Tadpole rearing





Documentary


Conservation Awareness Material