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Dr. Randall Morrison

Dr. Randall Morrison

Research Interests:

I am interested in the production and use of skin color in lizards. Students working with me have investigated the combinations of pigment cells used to generate color in lizard skin and the ways in which color change is accomplished. We have focused on color in the Panther chameleon most recently. We have also cloned and sequenced some of the genes involved in pigmentation in these lizards as well.

More recently we have begun to use a field spectrometer to actually measure the reflectance from the skin of various lizards as well and my most recent work is focusing on the variability of tissue colors found in natural populations.

For the last two summers students have traveled with me to do research at the Gerace Research Centre on San Salvador in the Bahamas. I also take students to San Salvador and Andros in the Bahamas for a January term course. I was recently asked to help organize the next Natural History Conference to be held at the field station in the summer of 2013.

Last summer I traveled to Madagascar to conduct field research on chameleons and leaf-tail geckos. I am collaborating in the western dry forests near Mahamavo, Madagascar with a non-profit called Operation Wallacea and will be returning to conduct research with students there for six weeks in the summer of 2012.

Teaching:

I was hired to teach Cell Biology, which I still teach, but have ended up teaching a wide range of other courses as well. I teach Animal Physiology, a course for non-science majors called Biodiversity, our first semester Principles of Biology course and our second semester Topics of Biology course (my topic is Coral Reefs), Vertebrate Zoology and other courses as needed. I am also currently Chair of the department.

Publications:

- Morrison, Randall L., and Emily Peoples (in prep) Sexual dimorphism and population structure in the San Salvador curly-tailed lizard Leiocephalus loxogrammus parnelli. Proceedings of the 14th Natural History Conference at the Gerace Research Centre on San Salvador, The Bahamas June 16-20, 2011.
- Morrison, Randall L., and Nichole Howard (in prep) Sexual polymorphism in a population of Anolis sagrei on San Salvador, Bahamas. Proceedings of the 14th Natural History Conference at the Gerace Research Centre on San Salvador, The Bahamas June 16-20, 2011.
- Morrison, Randall L., Monroe, William, Pavan, Bill, and Giselle Thibaudeau (in prep) An multi-level analysis of pigmentation in the Panther chameleon. To be submitted to Pigment Cell Research.
- Morrison, Randall L., Sherbrooke, Wade C. and Sally K. Frost-Mason (1996) Temperature sensitive, physiologically active iridophores in the lizard Urosaurus ornatus: An ultrastructural analysis. Copeia 1996: 804-812.
- Morrison, Randall L., Rand, Matthew S., and Sally K. Frost-Mason (1995) The cellular and ultrastructural basis of color differences in three morphs of the lizard Sceloporus undulatus erythrocheilus. Copeia 1995: 397-408.
- Morrison, Randall L. (1995) A transmission electron microscopic (TEM) method for determining the structural colors reflected by lizard iridophores. Pigment Cell Research 8: 28-36.

Conference Presentations:

- Morrison, Randall L., and *Emily Peoples (2011) Sexual dimorphism and population structure in the San Salvador curly-tailed lizard Leiocephalus loxogrammus parnelli. 14th Natural History Conference at the Gerace Research Centre on San Salvador, The Bahamas June 16-20, 2011.
- Morrison, Randall L., and *Nichole Howard (2011) Sexual polymorphism in a population of Anolis sagrei on San Salvador, Bahamas. 14th Natural History Conference at the Gerace Research Centre on San Salvador, The Bahamas June 16-20, 2011.
- Morrison, Randall L., and *Lauren DiNatale (2009) A preliminary analysis of coloration of three species of curly-tail lizards in the genus Leiocephalus. 13th Natural History Conference at the Gerace Research Centre on San Salvador, The Bahamas June 18-22, 2009.
- Morrison, Randall L. (2008) Mechanisms of structural color change in the iridophores of lower vertebrates. Bioinspired Design Conference at Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS August 19-22, 2008.
- Morrison, Randall, Monroe, William, *Debaugh Michelle, and Giselle Thibaudeau (2008) The effects of epinephrine and MSH on ultrastructural changes associated with color change in the Panther chameleon. XXth International Pigment Cell Conference in Sapporo, Japan May 7-12, 2008.
- Morrison, Randall L., Monroe, William, and Giselle Thibaudeau (2007) Ultrastructure and arrangement of chromatophores in the various color morphs of Panther chameleons. XIVth Meeting of the PanAmerican Society for Pigment Cell Research in Chicago, IL September 13-16, 2007.
- Morrison, Randall L. and William J. Pavan (2005) A search for the genetic determinants of color variability in the Panther chameleon. 19th International Pigment Cell Conference in Reston, VA, September 18-22, 2005.