The Lizard Log

The Langkilde Lab in Action

Return to Research Land!

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Hi, I’m Caty Tylan, one of the new Ph.D. students in the Langkilde Lab. Since this is my first post, it will mostly be an introduction. Short version: I’m a huge science nerd who reads, cooks, and plays a LOT of board games in my spare time. I have 1 adorable husband, and 3 adorable pets – a cat, a rabbit, and a very large dog.

Me with our giant puppy.

He luuuuuurrrvves me.

He’s a little needy.

Our tiny Holland Lop.

My nieces and nephews LOVE our bunny.

The cat is not amused.

But she is adorable.

I just graduated with my D.V.M. from Purdue University, but as the title of this post implies, I spent a lot of time in various labs before going to veterinary school, and I am excited to be doing research again! I obtained my B.S. in Biology from Drexel University, where I worked in a couple of different ecology laboratories, and also had the opportunity to work at Merck & Co., Inc. for my cooperative education experiences. After undergraduate I moved to Indiana and worked as a laboratory technician in the Bacteriology department of the Purdue University Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. During this time, I was lucky enough to work with a wide variety of species, which I loved. However, I wanted to know more about how they worked on a basic biological level before doing more research with them, so I decided to attend veterinary school. I was initially co-enrolled in a Ph.D. program, where I rotated through a couple more laboratories, but I eventually left the Ph.D. program due to conflicts with my D.V.M. program.

While completing my D.V.M. I started a project to test out a novel euthanasia method for use in domestic ducks. There is currently no good method for euthanizing large numbers of ducks, which is sometimes needed in cases such as disease outbreaks. The method that we’ve been testing out involves injecting alcohol into the duck’s brain, which has proven to be arguably the least traumatic method for the ducks.. The brain does not have the correct type of receptors to feel pain from the needle’s insertion, so the ducks experience no more pain than if they were having their blood taken, quickly followed by unconsciousness and death.  We are currently working on publishing our results.

I have minimal background in herpetology, having done some field work with turtles during undergraduate, but I’m excited to apply my medical knowledge to enhancing the study of fence lizards and other animal species in the Langkilde lab. I’m starting out focusing on the study of stress and separating out the effects of glucocorticoid hormones from the other mediators of stress in fence lizards.

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