Kristin A. Bakkegard, the Paul N. Propst Professor of Natural Sciences in Howard College of Arts and Sciences at Samford University, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to study the natural history and ecology of the Bahamian Flat-headed Frog (Eleutherodactylus rogersi). The award is funded by the United States Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Through the award program, Bakkegard will conduct research at the University of the Bahamas to study the frog, which was identified as a new species in 2007 and is only found in the Bahamas.
“We know very little about this frog which is why I am excited to travel to the Bahamas and do research on something that is relatively unknown,” Bakkegard said. “I am also looking forward to meeting new people and establishing professional collaborations with researchers in the Bahamas for future educational opportunities.”
Understanding the basic natural history of this species is critical in developing or maintaining effective protections for it. Additionally, this research supports the strategic plan of the Bahamas National Trust, the organization responsible for protecting and managing the nation’s national park system.
The grant will fund Bakkegard’s research from August through next spring. She will primarily be based in the Bahamas’ Andros Island and San Salvador Island.
The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 participants from over 160 countries the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. For more information, visit the Fulbright Scholar Program website.