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Spring Salamander
Spring Salamander

We are excited to welcome Mickey Agha (M.S. Student, UK Forestry) and Mason Murphy (Ph.D. Student, UK Biology)! Mickey is exploring desert tortoise demography in Southern California. Mason's research will likely focus on freshwater mussel conservation in Kentucky.

Queen Snake
Queen Snake (Photo credit JD Willson)

We'll regularly update this page with images from our field trips, research findings, and other interesting herpetological happenings.

Common Snapping Turtle
Common Snapping Turtle

National Geographic interviewed Dr. Steven Price and his coauthors of a recent publication on the ecology of semi-aquatic turtles residing in golf course ponds in North Carolina. The National Geographic article can be found here: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/07/130710-golf-courses-turtle-habitat-eco-friendly-environment/

Northern Dusky Salamander
Red-eyed Tree Frog

Through the Natural Resources and Environmental Science program at UK, Dr. Price and Rob Paratley recently taught a two week course in tropical ecology and resource management in Costa Rica. See the Facebook page and check out our gallery for some images from the trip.



Research in the Price Lab focuses on the conservation and management of aquatic and semi-aquatic animals, especially amphibians and reptiles. We subscribe to the philosophy that effective conservation requires detailed information about animal populations at multiple scales; thus our studies range from landscape analyses examining relationships between anthropogenic stressors and species' occupancy and/or abundance to detailed local-scale studies on survivorship, recruitment, and movement. We conduct research in a variety of environments including urban areas, forested land, reclaimed mined land, agricultural land, and, of course, the wetlands, streams, and rivers found in these environments.

If you're interested in working with our research group, I encourage you to browse our website, especially the Research Topics and Recent Publications to confirm that your research interests are compatible with our research program. In general, I look for students who have 1) the ability to ask novel and interesting questions in conservation biology and/or population ecology, 2) a solid understanding of experimental design as it pertains to wildlife research, 3) a strong desire to learn contemporary statistics (i.e., occupancy models, spatial mark-recapture, etc.) and other techniques used in wildlife monitoring and 4) an ongoing fascination with the natural world and a thorough understanding (or the desire to obtain it) of both natural histories and life histories of organisms. I expect students to publish and present their research to both scientists and the general public. I encourage the participation of both undergraduate students and graduate students in research efforts in our lab (See Personnel).

If you think you meet the criteria listed above, please feel free to contact Dr. Price to discuss the possibility of joining our lab.

214 T.P. Cooper Building (office: 208A)02
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40546-0073
Tel: 859-257-7610
Fax: 859-323-1031
E-mail: steven.price@uky.edu


  • At the 2014 meeting of the Association of Southeastern Biologists, Tom Maigret was awarded the Brooks/Cole Student Research Award in Aquatic Biology for his research presentation on the effects of timber harvest within streamside management zones on salamander populations in ephemeral streams!

  • Graduate student Mason Murphy has been awarded the 2014 Graduate Student Conservation Research Award from the Society of Freshwater Science Conservation and Environmental Issues Committee (CEIC)!

  • Thomas Maigret, Dr. John Cox, Dr. Chris Barton, Dr. Steven Price, and their coauthors have a new paper in press for Forest Ecology and Management: Effects of timber harvest within streamside management zones on salamander populations in ephemeral streams of southeastern Kentucky.

  • Graduate student Mickey Agha and colleagues have two new papers in press!

  • Dr. Steven Price and Dr. Kyle Barrett have a new paper in press for Freshwater Science: Urbanization and stream salamanders: a review, conservation options, and research needs.

  • Graduate student Mason Murphy, Dr. Steven Price, and Dr. David Weisrock were selected for funding through the Kentucky Academy of Science's Marcia Athey & Botany Grant for their proposal: "Dispersal congruency and population structure within an imperiled host-parasite system."

  • Lab members joined the Kentucky Conservation Committee in Frankfort, KY for Biodiversity Day!

Click here for archived news items!

Research Topics

1) Effects of habitat destruction and fragmentation on reptile and amphibian populations.

  • We have several, current projects focusing on the effects of urban development, surface mining, renewable energy, flow regulation, and timber harvest.

2) Responses of semi-aquatic reptiles and amphibians to environmental stochasticity.

  • We're particularly interested in responses of semi-aquatic animal populations to droughts and floods, and how behaviors, such are movements, are employed to overcome significant environmental stressors.

3) Management and monitoring of reptile and amphibian populations.

  • Reptiles and amphibians are notoriously secretive, which makes monitoring them challenging. We use methods that incorporate detection probability of populations or capture probability of individuals and we're interested in developing field methodologies to improve detection.

Recent Publications

* indicates undergraduate student author; + indicates graduate student author

  • Maigret, T.A.+, J.J. Cox, D.R. Schneider, C.D. Barton, S.J. Price, and J.L. Larkin. In press. Effects of timber harvest within streamside management zones on salamander populations in ephemeral streams of southeastern Kentucky. Forest Ecology and Management.

  • Lovich, J.E., W. Gibbons, and M. Agha+. In press. Does the timing of attainment of maturity influence sexual size dimorphism and adult sex ratio in turtles? Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.

  • Barrett, K., and S.J. Price. In press. Urbanization and stream salamanders: a review, conservation options, and research needs. Freshwater Science.

  • Muncy, B.L.+, S.J. Price and M.E. Dorcas. In press. Capture probability and survivorship of the southern two-lined salamander (Eurycea cirrigera) in drought and non-drought conditions. Copeia.

Click here for more!

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