Published on September 1, 2020 by Sean Flynt  
Dave Johnson and Kristin Bakkegard
Dave Johnson and Kristin Bakkegard

Samford University biology professors Kristin Bakkegard and Dave Johnson, and Daniel G. Mulcahy of the Global Genome Initiative at the National Museum of Natural History, have published an article documenting a new location for the endangered Guantánamo Striped Curlytail lizard.

Cuba might seem like an unusual location for Samford researchers, but there’s an important connection–In addition to being a veteran field biologist, Bakkegard is a retired U.S. Navy surface warfare captain whose 30 years of active and reserve service included deployment to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay. While exploring that de facto wildlife sanctuary, she first encountered the lizard.

Bakkegard continued to research the lizard with Johnson and Mulcahy, and their article–A New Locality, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, for the Rare Lizard Leiocephalus onaneyi (Guantánamo Striped Curlytail) and Notes on its Natural History–is published in the peer reviewed journal Caribbean Naturalist.
 
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.