Pitzer College Alumnus and Professor Present at World Congress of Herpetology

Matthew Ward '11
Matthew Ward '11

Claremont, Calif. (August 24, 2012) — Pitzer College alumnus Matthew Ward '11 and Professor of Biology Marion Preest of Pitzer's W. M. Keck Science Department presented research about the way some chameleons attract their prey. The presentation, "Chemical Prey Luring in Jackson's Chameleons: Time's Fun When You're Having Flies," was made at the 7th World Congress of Herpetology in Vancouver, Canada on August 8-14, 2012.

The poster presentation, co-authored with colleagues Thomas Poon, senior associate dean of faculty and professor of chemistry at Pitzer College, and John Hermanson, associate professor of biomedical sciences at Cornell University, included research Ward did for his senior thesis at Pitzer. In their talk, the authors described a pouch in the corner of the mouth of Jackson's chameleons that contains a "foul-smelling, viscous substance" that the chameleons wipe on branches. The substance attracts insects, which then become a meal for the chameleons. Chemical analysis indicates that some of the chemicals in the substance are identical to those found in certain insect pheromones. Histological work to determine the source of the substance is ongoing. Ward's attendance at the World Congress was made possible by support from David Hansen, dean of W.M. Keck Science Department.

Matthew Ward received a degree in biology and minor in art from Pitzer College.

The W.M. Keck Science Department is a program of Claremont McKenna College, Pitzer College and Scripps College.

Matthew Ward '11

Matthew Ward received a degree in biology and minor in art from Pitzer College.

The W.M. Keck Science Department is a program of Claremont McKenna College, Pitzer College and Scripps College.

About Pitzer College

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Press Releases, 2013–14 Academic Year