Zocalo Public Square profiles Hoffmann’s research on blue-spotted salamanders
University of Maine Ph.D. candidate Kristine Hoffmann’s research on blue-spotted salamanders could lead to a greater understanding of how climate change is impacting northern ecosystems, reports Zocalo Public Square. Since 2012, Hoffmann has been studying how urbanization is effecting vernal pools and blue-spotted salamanders in Maine. In her work, Hoffmann has trapped, measured and released the creatures at dozens of wetland sites. She has also implanted tiny radio transmitters in some salamanders. Now, Hoffmann is trying to figure out how the unisex amphibians reproduce. If it turns out the females can reproduce without male sperm, Maine will likely retain a robust population of salamanders, even as their geographic range moves further north due to climate change, according to the article.