Timothy J Colston

Evolution, Hologenomics, Biogeography, Herpetology

Reptile and Amphibian Biogeography, Evolution, Systematics, and Microbiome Interactions

I am a Ph.D. candidate and Graduate Writing Fellow in Brice Noonan's lab at the University of Mississippi. While broadly interested in evolution and biogeography, my research is currently focused on how host ecology and evolutionary history influence their microbiome structure and whether host-asscociated microbiomes can be considered ecological or evolutionary traits. My research relies heavily on making and utilizing biological collections and I have been fortunate to work extensively in tropical Central and South America as well as the Horn of Africa. If you are interested in access to samples or collaboration please email me: tim@maddreptiles.com

Paper Accepted in Zootaxa! New Species of Viper Endemic to Ethiopia

Congratulations to all of my coauthors! Gower, D.J., Wade, E.O.Z., Spawls, S., Böhme, W., Buechley, E., Siykes, D., Colston, T.J., A new large species of Bitis Gray, 1842 (Serpentes: Viperidae) from the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia (accepted in Zootaxa) This is my first species description and I am excited that it is a new species of large venomous snake from the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia. Above is a photo of the habitat of this elusive species which is only known to inhabit the Harenna Forest of southern Ethiopia.

January 2016 Ireng River Biodiversity Survey Success!

To start of my year I was fortunate enough to join a great team of biologists and conduct the first inventory of herp, fish and bird life in the Upper Ireng River which forms part of the border between Guyana and Brazil. Team leader Nathan Lujan has a great photo album documenting our trip (click the image) and my herp photos can be found on my Flcikr feed.

Survey of the Ethiopian Borena and Somali Regions

In May and June of 2015 I was fortunate enough to return to Ethiopia and conduct herpetological inventories of the Borena and Somali regions of extreme southern Ethiopia. In addition to inventory specimens and tissue samples we collected eDNA as part of a pilot study for detection of rare amphibians, thermal tolerance data on lizards in response to climate change, and microbiome samples from a range of reptile and amphibian hosts. Thanks to funding provided to me by a NSF DDIG I will return to Ethiopia in 2016 for additional herpetological surveys of this understudied region.