Robert N. Reed is a Supervisory Ecologist who currently serves as Deputy Center Director at the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center based in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. His past research focused on prevention, control, and containment of invasive reptiles.
2020-present - Deputy Center Director, USGS-PIERC
2012-2020 - Chief, Invasive Species Science Branch, USGS-FORT
2006-2012 - Research Wildlife Biologist, Brown Treesnake Project, USGS-FORT
2003-2006 - Assistant Professor (Biology), Southern Utah University, Cedar City UT
2001-2003 - Post-doctoral Associate, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Aiken SC
Education and Certifications
Ph.D. Auburn University, Biological Sciences, 2001
Fulbright Fellow, University of Sydney, Australia, 2000-2001
M.S. Arizona State University, Zoology, 1995
B.A. University of California at Berkeley, Zoology/English, 1991
Science and Products
Biology, Impacts and Control of Invasive Reptiles in the Everglades
Ecology and Control of Invasive Reptiles in Florida
Mentoring the next generation: USGS, NPS, and University of Florida Cooperative Research Unit Invasive Reptile Intern Program
USGS Everglades Research Office - Florida
Ecology and Management of Invasive Riparian Plants
USGS Brown Treesnake Laboratory - Guam
Environmental DNA (eDNA) Sampling Improves Occurrence and Detection Estimates of Invasive Burmese Pythons and Other Constrictor Snakes in Florida
Brown Treesnake Rapid Response Team
Control and Landscape-Scale Suppression of the Invasive Brown Treesnake
Cruising to Improve the Detection of Burmese Pythons in Everglades National Park
Developing Ecological Forecasting Models for Invasive Species
Giant Constrictor Snakes in Florida: A Sizeable Research Challenge
Brown treesnake movement following snake suppression in the Habitat Management Unit on Northern Guam from 2015
Size distribution and reproductive data of the invasive Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, Florida, USA, 1995-2021
Florida physiological and morphological data from wild and recently captive Python bivittatus 2018-2019
Florida invasive Leiocephalus carinatus ecological niche model, thermal environment, and thermal tolerance, 1991-2020
Brown Treesnake Mortality Habitat Management Unit Guam 2019
Temperature data for tegu lizard study in Auburn, Alabama 2017-2018
Metrics of individual and demographic stress in the invasive Brown treesnake on Guam from 1992-2018
Dataset: Passive restoration following ungulate removal in a highly disturbed tropical wet forest devoid of native seed dispersers
Sex, length, total mass, fat mass, and specimen condition data for 248 Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus) collected in the Florida Everglades
Burmese pythons in Florida: A synthesis of biology, impacts, and management tools
Size distribution and reproductive phenology of the invasive Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, Florida, USA
Egg retention in wild-caught Python bivittatus in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, Florida, USA
Can we prove that an undetected species is absent? Evaluating whether brown treesnakes are established on the island of Saipan using surveillance and expert opinion
Clutch may predict growth of hatchling Burmese pythons better than food availability or sex
Olfactory lures in predator control do not increase predation risk to birds in areas of conservation concern
Range eclipse leads to tenuous survival of a rare lizard species on a barrier atoll
Identifying negative sentiment polarity in the Judas technique
Thermal stability of an adaptable, invasive ectotherm: Argentine giant tegus in the Greater Everglades ecosystem, USA
Invaders from islands: Thermal matching, potential or flexibility?
Brown treesnake mortality after aerial application of toxic baits
Trait heritability and its implications for the management of an invasive vertebrate
Science and Products
Biology, Impacts and Control of Invasive Reptiles in the EvergladesInvasive species are considered to be second only to habitat degradation in terms of negative impacts on the Earth’s ecosystems, and our scientists make up a significant proportion of the global expertise in the rapidly-growing problem of invasive reptiles.
Ecology and Control of Invasive Reptiles in FloridaThis project involves ongoing development of tools for the detection and control of invasive reptiles in Florida, with an emphasis on Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus) and Black and white tegu lizards (Salvator merianae). The goals are to reduce the risk of reptile invasions into, and impacts on, high-value resources such as Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, and the...
Mentoring the next generation: USGS, NPS, and University of Florida Cooperative Research Unit Invasive Reptile Intern ProgramInvasive reptiles like the Burmese python (Python bivittatus) and Black-and-White Tegu Lizard (Tupinambis merianae) are exerting tremendous harm on Everglades ecosystems, but these problematic species present an excellent opportunity to engage the next generation in science. Since entering into an agreement with Everglades National Park in late 2013, the Invasive Species Science Branch of the U.S...
USGS Everglades Research Office - FloridaThe Daniel Beard Center in Everglades National Park provides the base for most of the field work done on the control of invasive reptiles by USGS Fort Collins Science Center staff. The team works in Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and other parts of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem focusing on, among other species of concern...
Ecology and Management of Invasive Riparian PlantsDue to high rates of disturbance and human activity, streamside or “riparian” areas are prone to colonization and spread of invasive plants. In the western United States, hundreds of thousands of riparian acres are occupied by the invasive shrubs/trees tamarisk and Russian olive, as well as numerous exotic herbaceous plants. Our work focuses on understanding the factors driving the distribution...
USGS Brown Treesnake Laboratory - GuamUSGS scientists and staff associated with the Brown Treesnake Project are co-located at the Guam National Wildlife Refuge at the northern end of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean. Project staff work on developing and testing control tools for invasive brown treesnakes, as well as understanding their impacts on Guam's ecosystems. Project staff also lead the multi-agency Brown Treesnake Rapid...
Environmental DNA (eDNA) Sampling Improves Occurrence and Detection Estimates of Invasive Burmese Pythons and Other Constrictor Snakes in FloridaEnvironmental DNA (eDNA) is organismal DNA that can be found in the environment. Environmental DNA originates from cellular material shed by organisms (via skin, excrement, etc.) into aquatic or terrestrial environments that can be sampled and monitored using new molecular methods. Such methodology is important for the early detection of invasive species as well as the detection of rare and...
Brown Treesnake Rapid Response TeamBrown Treesnakes continue to cause major problems for the ecology, economy, and quality of life on Guam. Our scientists conduct research on this snake species, including control tool development and testing, ecological impacts, and early detection methods. We hold Brown Treesnake Rapid Response Team training courses on Guam throughout the year to develop the skills needed to effectively respond to...
Control and Landscape-Scale Suppression of the Invasive Brown TreesnakeThe Brown Treesnake is a highly destructive reptile species that has extirpated many native species of birds, bats, and lizards from the U.S. Territory of Guam. For more than two decades branch scientists with the Invasive Reptile Project have developed, validated, and tested the feasibility of Brown Treesnake control and suppression at various spatial scales.
Cruising to Improve the Detection of Burmese Pythons in Everglades National ParkIt is not uncommon to see researchers cruising around Everglades National Park (ENP) on what has been a routine basis for the past ten months. Every evening, interns pack into a Chevy Volt for their shift assisting the U.S. Geological Survey in conducting Burmese Python (Python molurus bivittatus) nighttime surveillance through observational surveys. This effort to detect non-native snakes, namely...
Developing Ecological Forecasting Models for Invasive SpeciesForecasts of where species might be and what impacts they may have are necessary for management of invasive species. Researchers at FORT are using various approaches to provided needed information to resource managers to combat invasive plants, animals, and disease organisms.
Giant Constrictor Snakes in Florida: A Sizeable Research ChallengeSince the mid-1990s, several species of non-native, giant constrictor snakes, such as Burmese pythons and boa constrictors, have surfaced in localities throughout southern Florida. Several are known or suspected to be breeding and appear to be spreading northward. Increasingly, media and other reports of sightings or encounters with these animals have emphasized the dangers they could impose on...
Brown treesnake movement following snake suppression in the Habitat Management Unit on Northern Guam from 2015Animals move to locate important resources such as food, water, and mates. Therefore, movement patterns can reflect temporal and spatial availability of resources as well as when, where, and how individuals access such resources. To test these relationships for a predatory reptile, we quantified the effects of prey abundance on the spatial ecology of invasive brown treesnakes (Boiga irregularis).
Size distribution and reproductive data of the invasive Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, Florida, USA, 1995-2021This dataset contains morphometric information from Burmese pythons collected from an invasive population in southern Florida between 1995-2021. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service curated this dataset as a repository for records of Burmese pythons found on or nearby federal lands in southern Florida, including Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Pre
Florida physiological and morphological data from wild and recently captive Python bivittatus 2018-2019This dataset provides morphological and blood-derived physiological data from invasive Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus) captured in Florida. Data were collected on pythons at capture in the field and in varying lengths of time in captivity. Samples were collected immediately at handling (baseline) and 1 hour post-restraint. Physiological data include circulating corticosterone hormone levels, f
Florida invasive Leiocephalus carinatus ecological niche model, thermal environment, and thermal tolerance, 1991-2020The publication "Invaders from Islands: Thermal Matching, Potential, or Plasticity?" is comprised of data derived from multiple datasets. These datasets include climatic and temperature variables used in ecological niche models for predicting suitable habitat for Leiocephalus carinatus in its invaded and native ranges. Also included are thermal tolerance measurements assessed in March 2020 for Lei
Brown Treesnake Mortality Habitat Management Unit Guam 2019The dataset contains 16 columns of data collected on invasive Brown Treesnakes (Boiga irregularis) at a study site known as the Habitat Management Unit (HMU) in northern Guam. Snakes were fitted with radio-transmitters and teams of 2-4 biologist listened for signals from transmitters every seven days to determine if snakes were alive or dead. Survival data was then modeled in Program MARK to asses
Temperature data for tegu lizard study in Auburn, Alabama 2017-2018The dataset contains 11 columns of data collected 2017-2018 during a study to assess the ability of invasive Argentine Black and White Tegu (Salvator merianae) to survive in temperate climates of the southeastern USA. Lizards were individually housed in outdoor semi-natural enclosures on the campus of Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, USA. Database contains tegu identification number, sex, and
Metrics of individual and demographic stress in the invasive Brown treesnake on Guam from 1992-2018This project contains five datasets which are reported in "Understanding metrics of stress in the context of invasion history: the case of the brown treesnake (Boiga irregularis)". Overall, this dataset describes metrics of individual and demographic stress (baseline and 1 hour post-capture corticosterone, body condition, and bacterial killing ability) in the invasive snake Boiga irregularis on Gu
Dataset: Passive restoration following ungulate removal in a highly disturbed tropical wet forest devoid of native seed dispersersOn an island largely devoid of native vertebrate seed dispersers, we monitored forest succession for seven years following ungulate exclusion from a 5-hectare area and adjacent plots with ungulates still present. The study site was in northern Guam on Andersen Air Force Base (1337N, 14451E) and situated on a coralline limestone plateau. We established 22 plots and six 0.25-m2 subplots to measure t
Sex, length, total mass, fat mass, and specimen condition data for 248 Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus) collected in the Florida EvergladesThese data were collected from Burmese pythons removed from the Florida everglades as part of invasive-species management. After euthanasia, we sexed (male or female) and measured the snout-vent length (SVL; cm) and total body mass (g) for each python. We also measured total fat mass (g) by removing all visible fat bodies from the coelomic cavity and weighing this mass. For a subset of specimens,
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Burmese pythons in Florida: A synthesis of biology, impacts, and management toolsBurmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) are native to southeastern Asia, however, there is an established invasive population inhabiting much of southern Florida throughout the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. Pythons have severely impacted native species and ecosystems in Florida and represent one of the most intractable invasive-species management issues across the globe. The difficulty stems fAuthorsJacquelyn C. Guzy, Bryan G. Falk, Brian J. Smith, John David Willson, Robert Reed, Nicholas Aumen, Michael L. Avery, Ian A. Bartoszek, Earl Campbell, Michael Cherkiss, Natalie M. Claunch, Andrea Faye Currylow, Tylan Dean, Jeremy Dixon, Richard M. Engeman, Sarah Funck, Rebekah Gibble, Kodiak C. Hengstebeck, John S. Humphrey, Margaret Hunter, Jillian Josimovich, Jennifer Ketterlin Eckles, Michael Kirkland, Frank J. Mazzotti, Robert A. McCleery, Melissa A. Miller, Matthew F. McCollister, M. Rockwell Parker, Shannon E. Pittman, Michael R. Rochford, Christina Romagosa, Art Roybal, Ray W. Snow, McKayla M. Spencer, Hardin Waddle, Amy A. Yackel Adams, Kristen Hart
Size distribution and reproductive phenology of the invasive Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, Florida, USAThe design of successful invasive species control programs is often hindered by the absence of basic demographic data on the targeted population. Establishment of invasive Burmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, Florida USA has led to local precipitous declines (> 90%) of mesomammal populations and is also a major threat to native populations of reptiles anAuthorsAndrea Faye Currylow, Bryan Falk, Amy A. Yackel Adams, Christina M. Romagosa, Jillian Josimovich, Michael R. Rochford, Michael Cherkiss, Melia Gail Nafus, Kristen Hart, Frank J. Mazzotti, Ray W. Snow, Robert Reed
Egg retention in wild-caught Python bivittatus in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, Florida, USARetention of eggs in oviducts beyond the normal oviposition period is a common problem for captive reptiles, but the occurrence of egg retention in wild populations is largely unknown. The Burmese python (Python [molurus] bivittatus; Kühl 1820) is an oviparous snake native to south-eastern Asia that is now established in southern Florida. From 2011–2019, invasive Burmese pythons were opportunisticAuthorsGretchen Erika Anderson, Frank N. Ridgley, Jillian Maureen Josimovich, Robert Reed, Bryan G. Falk, Amy A. Yackel Adams, Andrea Faye Currylow
Can we prove that an undetected species is absent? Evaluating whether brown treesnakes are established on the island of Saipan using surveillance and expert opinionDetection of invasive species and decisions centered around early detection and rapid response (EDRR) are notorious challenges for decision makers. Detection probability is low for cryptic species, resources are limited, and ecological harm (especially for island ecosystems) can result from failure to remove invasive species due to inadequate or delayed surveillance efforts. Due to the proximity tAuthorsAmy A. Yackel Adams, Patrick D Barnhart, Gordon H. Rodda, Eric T. Hileman, Melia Gail Nafus, Robert Reed
Clutch may predict growth of hatchling Burmese pythons better than food availability or sexIdentifying which environmental and genetic factors affect growth pattern phenotypes can help biologists predict how organisms distribute finite energy resources in response to varying environmental conditions and physiological states. This information may be useful for monitoring and managing populations of cryptic, endangered, and invasive species. Consequently, we assessed the effects of food aAuthorsJillian Maureen Josimovich, Bryan G. Falk, Alejandro Grajal-Puche, Emma B. Hanslowe, Ian A. Bartoszek, Robert Reed, Andrea Faye Currylow
Olfactory lures in predator control do not increase predation risk to birds in areas of conservation concernContext: Lethal control of predators is often undertaken to protect species of conservation concern. Traps are frequently baited to increase capture efficacy, but baited traps can potentially increase predation risk by attracting predators to protected areas. This is especially important if targeted predators can escape capture due to low trap success. Snake traps using live mouse lures may be benAuthorsPage E. Klug, Amy A. Yackel Adams, Robert Reed
Range eclipse leads to tenuous survival of a rare lizard species on a barrier atollRediscovery of living populations of a species that was presumed to be extirpated can generate new narratives for conservation in areas suffering from losses in biodiversity. We used field observations and DNA sequence data to verify the rediscovery of the Critically Endangered scincid lizard Emoia slevini on Dåno′, an islet off the coast of Guam in the southern Mariana Islands, where for > 20 yeaAuthorsJonathan Q. Richmond, Elijah Wostl, Robert Reed, Robert N. Fisher
Identifying negative sentiment polarity in the Judas techniqueIn the context of conservation science and management, the Judas technique refers to outfitting an animal (a Judas animal) with a radio transmitter or other identifier so that its movements can be tracked to locate conspecifics. Although this term is commonly used, some consider it offensive due to historical associations of the word Judas with anti-Semitic sentiments. Thus, the term has a negativAuthorsAustin Lee Fitzgerald, Jillian Maureen Josimovich, Charlotte J. Robinson, Robert Reed, Andrea Faye Currylow
Thermal stability of an adaptable, invasive ectotherm: Argentine giant tegus in the Greater Everglades ecosystem, USAInvasive species globally threaten biodiversity and economies, but the ecophysiological mechanisms underlying their success are often understudied. For those alien species that also exhibit high phenotypic plasticity, such as habitat generalists, adaptations in response to environmental pressures can take place relatively quickly. The Argentine giant tegu (Salvator merianae; tegu) is a large omnivAuthorsAndrea Faye Currylow, Michelle Collier, Emma B. Hanslowe, Bryan G. Falk, Brian S. Cade, Sarah E. Moy, Alejandro Grajal-Puche, Frank N. Ridgley, Robert Reed, Amy A. Yackel Adams
Invaders from islands: Thermal matching, potential or flexibility?Native-range thermal constraints may not reflect the geographical distributions of species introduced from native island ranges in part due to rapid physiological adaptation in species introduced to new environments. Correlative ecological niche models may thus underestimate potential invasive distributions of species from islands. The northern curly-tailed lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus) is estabAuthorsNatalie M. Claunch, Colin Goodman, Robert Reed, Robert P. Guralnick, Christina M. Romagosa, Emily N. Taylor
Brown treesnake mortality after aerial application of toxic baitsQuantitative evaluation of control tools for managing invasive species is necessary to assess overall effectiveness and individual variation in treatment susceptibility. Invasive brown treesnakes (Boiga irregularis) on Guam have caused severe ecological and economic effects, pose a risk of accidental introduction to other islands, and are the greatest impediment to the reestablishment of extirpateAuthorsScott Michael Goetz, Eric T. Hileman, Melia G. Nafus, Amy A. Yackel Adams, Amanda R Bryant, Robert Reed, Shane R. Siers
Trait heritability and its implications for the management of an invasive vertebrateControl methods that target specific traits of an invasive species can produce results contrary to the aims of management. If targeted phenotypes exhibit heritability, then it follows that the invasive species could evolve greater resistance to the applied control measures over time. Additional complications emerge if those traits targeted by control are also inversely related to reproductive succAuthorsBrenna A Levine, Marlis R Douglas, Amy A. Yackel Adams, Bjorn Lardner, Robert Reed, Julie A. Savidge, Michael E Douglas