Aniko Toth (WM '12) received the Richard L. Hoffman award for best student oral presentation at the (VHS) meeting on October 16. She received $100 and a one-year membership to VHS. Ms. Toth presented research on cricket frogs in southeastern Virginia.
Aniko worked with Visiting Assistant Professor Jonathan Micancin this past summer, who in previous work has shown that southern cricket frogs have declined in North Carolina. Dr. Micancin notes that all cricket frogs have declined at their northern ranges in the region. Biology major and recent graduate Rachel Anderson (WM '10) also helped with Micancin's cricket frog project.
Aniko Toth's study compared the museum records' distribution of these frogs to field observations. Her research addresses the VHS's long-standing question about the overlap of these two species. Northern and southern cricket frogs are sibling species, morphologically indistinct and reproductively isolated, yet found side-by-side in wetlands in the Virginia region.