My name is Ryan Wagner. I am a Master’s Student at the Ohio State University in Dr. Bill Peterman’s Lab. I earned my B.S. in Wildlife Biology and Conservation from Ohio University in 2020. I write for the Wild Ohio Magazine and I sit on the advisory board for the Ohio Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (OHPARC) and the MWPARC.
My research interests focus on the ecology and conservation of reptiles and amphibians. I have pursued these interests in a number of ways, including studying the impacts of a newly constructed bypass on eastern box turtles, underpass use by amphibians, spring salamander chronic stress, hellbender mark-recapture, and snake road mortality. Currently, I am studying a population of common mudpuppy salamanders (Necturus maculosus) in an Ohio river impacted by the chemical lampricide TFM. This chemical is used to control the invasive Sea Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) and is highly toxic to native fish, invertebrate, and amphibian species. Using spatial mark-recapture, my goal is to better understand the long-term impacts of TFM on mudpuppy populations in the state to inform best management practices in our waterways.
I am a nature photographer with a focus on reptiles and amphibians. I try to capture images that portray these poorly understood and rarely seen organisms in a clear and inoffensive light. I hope to communicate not just their physical beauty and importance as living creatures, but also their importance in the larger context of their environment. I have also been diving in to photography story telling, using my unique position as a wildlife biologist to capture the experiences of my own field work and the work of my piers and colleagues.
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