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Advances in Data Loggers

Our guest in this episode is Ryan Hanscom. Ryan is a Ph.D. candidate in a joint doctoral evolution program at San Diego State University and the University of California, Riverside. He is a terrestrial ecologist with a focus on herpetology and mammalogy.

Ryan discussed how the behavior of rattlesnakes is studied in the natural world, particularly with an increase in temperature.

Ryan also discussed how the rattlesnake hunts down a prey item, e.g., a kangaroo rat. He discussed how they collect data about the rattlesnake hunt using loggers and how they determine the loggers do not affect the animals' behavior. He also discussed how they set up a thermal simulator based on the data collected.

Ryan discussed how he built a machine learning model to predict the behavior of the animals. He also shared the model's performance and some exciting discoveries from the experiments.

Ryan discussed what he discovered about the eating habits of rattlesnakes. He also shared how they know when a feeding event is occurring. He discussed the effect of the geographical location of the snakes. Rounding up, Ryan shared some future plans for the project.

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Ryan Hanscom

I have broad interests in the behavior, ecology, and evolution of herpetofauna. My current research focuses on the behavioral ecology and overall predator-prey interactions between kangaroo rats and rattlesnakes. I use next generation natural history techniques to investigate these questions, most prominently accelerometry, where I determine moment to moment activity patterns and cryptic behaviors such as foraging and reproductive rates in both rattlesnakes and kangaroo rats