School of Natural Sciences

Faculty

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Omar Attum

Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: (812) 941-2634
Office Location: LF 306

Biography

Research

Habitat use of copperhead snakes

Objective: Determine which macro and microhabitat variables are important for old growth temperate forest species such as copperhead snakes.

Student participation: Students participate in field data collection. Results have been presented at undergraduate conferences and students are co-authors for submission to the journal, Northeastern Naturalist. A previous student participant has expanded some aspects of his work to be part of a master thesis at Indiana Purdue University at Fort Wayne.

Testing the validity of shell ring counts to age the Egyptian tortoise

Objective: Test if counting external shell rings, 1 ring = 1 year, can be used to age the Egyptian tortoise. If the method proves to be valid, then the data could be used in population modeling.

Student participation: Students have been involved in counting shell rings from photographs to age the Egyptian tortoise. Results have been presented conferences, including at the 8th Annual Symposium on the Conservation and Biology of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles 2009. A manuscript is being prepared for submission to the journal, Amphibia-Reptillia.

The relationship between forest edge habitat and stray/feral cats in an urban nature preserve

Objective: To test if there is a relationship between forest fragmentation and feral/stray animal distribution in urban nature preserves.

Student Participation: Students are involved in field data collection through the use of camera traps. A manuscript is in planning for submission to the journal, Urban Ecosystems.

Dorcas gazelle and livestock use of trees according to size in a hyper-arid landscape.

Objective: Study the relationship between tree size and species with use as territorial markers for the Dorcas gazelle

Student participation: Students from the 2010 Field Biology class were able to participate in data collection during their trip to Egypt. Publication submission to the Journal of Arid Environments is in the works.

Developing reintroduction guidelines for endangered turtles: testing the effectiveness of a forced-inactivity soft release on the movement patterns of translocated aquatic turtles.

Objective: To test the effectiveness of different translocation methods to improve reintroduction efforts of wildlife

Student participation: Students participate in field data collection and publication of their data.

The effect of invasive bush honeysuckle on the habitat use of box turtles in an urban forest preserve

Objective: To test if box turtles avoid forest habitat that contain the invasive bush honeysuckle shrub.

Student participation: Students are involved collecting all the field data. It is expected that the student will coauthor manuscripts and present their findings at national meetings.

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