2020 Grant Recipient
Matthew Metcalf, M. Sc
Matthew Metcalf's is a biology researcher located and Florida Gulf Coast University. In 2019, The Rattlesnake Conservancy provided a $5,000 research grant to the Metcalf Laboratory. His research team has been conducting a long term study on eastern diamondback rattlesnake ecology in southern Florida. Their research project is focused on assessing the population status of eastern diamodback rattlesnakes by studying basic life history, behavioral ecology, invasive species interactions, and genetic diversity of the species.
Specifically, their work is also assessing invasive parasite loads of a type of lung worm that are thought to have been transferred by the invasive Burmese python (Python bivittatus). The lung worm has been detected in multiple individual eastern diamondbacks and the research conducted by the Metcalf Laboratory will help inform The Rattlesnake Conservancy's population assessment for the species and inform conservation efforts for future years.
Population Ecology of the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus)
Understanding venomous reptiles, their ecology, and how humans interact with them, is important for informing our team on ways to plan and conserve rattlesnakes. Rattlesnake research is one of the most underfunded fields in science. To assist researchers in their quest to study rattlesnakes and other venomous reptiles in the wild, The Rattlesnake Conservancy formed a grant program that focuses on research that provides real on-the-ground conservation outcomes.
In 2019, we kicked off our first year of funding projects by providing $5,000 to the Metcalf Lab at Florida Gulf Coast University. To learn more their research, click here. Every year we dispurse research grants, they may be provided entirely to one research project or split among several. Research grants are from $1,000 - $5,000. Priority for larger grants are for long term studies that may receive multiple years of funding.
Prospective grant recipients are encouraged to apply early in the planning stage of research projects. Our research committee will evaluate projects based on the following criteria, with priority given to projects that provide critical information to conservation of rattlesnake species, although other venomous reptile research may also be considered.
Covered costs for grants can be used for equipment, software, supplies, veterinary procedures, and travel.
Grants will be decided on an annual basis by May 31st of each year. Applications for research grants should be submitted by May 1, but will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year for consideration.
Consistent with our mission “To conserve rattlesnakes, and their habitat, through research and education”.
Project located in North or South America.
Must involve research of venomous reptiles or anthropogenic factors impacting rattlesnakes.
Cannot be solely focused on venom toxinology, or genomics research (unless informing a larger conservation program).
Social research involving human perceptions, human wildlife conflict mitigation, or evaluating the efficacy of education programs and strategies may be supported if there is a conservation management goal, or intent to improve education strategies or goals for venomous snakes. Projects in this category should lead to quantitative results, and not just be focused on education program development.
Does not involve euthanasia of rattlesnakes, unless specifically focused on disease transmission and general accepted methodology requires euthanasia for testing.
Must obtain all legal federal and state permits