I was fortunate enough to receive an Endeavour Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the 2018 round! This means Hugh and I got to jet off to Portugal for a six-month trip, full of lizarding (i.e. the act of catching lizards), colour polymorphism and behavioural research, salted cod and Port wine!
I am being hosted by Miguel Carretero at CIBIO InBio, at the Universidade do Porto. He and his family and the whole FIBO research group have been most welcoming as we settled in. Though Hugh has travelled a bit, this is my first time in Europe and I’m finding it quite the adventure.
Miguel’s work is very diverse (herpetologically speaking) and talking to him is most enlightening! His postdoc Guillem Pérez i de Lanuza is producing some excellent work on the colour polymorphic lizard species Podarcis muralis, which was my original interest in coming to Portugal in the first place. These lizards are amazing, and though some Podarcis species are found around Porto, the system Guillem and Miguel mainly work on are the P. muralis populations found in the Western Pyrenees region. This means that Hugh and I will spend two months lizarding in the picturesque Pyrenees!
In my first week here I gave a seminar to CIBIO on my previous Draco research. I had a blast and was asked some really interesting questions which may well seed some future research avenues.