Steven J R Allain

Steven J R Allain

Canterbury, Kent

University of Kent, Institute of Zoology, British Herpetological Society, IUCN SSC ASG,

PhD Student

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Published on Aug 21, 2020

Toads end up calling, in the warm August rain

It's been an exciting week for us. Since our last update, most of the country has experienced some heavy downpours. Whilst this rain has caused havoc and localised flooding in some areas, it has al...

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Published on Aug 14, 2020

On the toad again

It's been a while since our last update and a lot has changed in the world since April. Unfortunately a lot of this is outside of our control, however the changing conditions have allowed us to get...

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Published on Apr 03, 2020

You Can't Kill Frog and Roll

It's been a while since I last posted an update, it's been slow given the recent pandemic of coronavirus but progress is being made behind the scenes. First of all, you will notice that there is a ...

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Published on Feb 24, 2020

The Sound of Science

Hey everyone! Apologies for the silence over the past few months - it has been a busy one fraught with danger around every corner. I may be exaggerating a little but we have had our ups and downs. ...

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Published on Nov 07, 2019

Go with the Toad

It's been about a month and a half since the project was successfully funded and although we aimed to have them in the lab sooner, all of our samples are now in one place and ready to go! Thanks ag...

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Published on Sep 20, 2019

The Final Croakdown

Whilst we won't be blasting off to Venus anytime soon, our crowdfunder has almost come to an end. There are however only 2 days left on the clock to share and donate to our project before we will b...

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Published on Sep 13, 2019

Frog Gave Rock And Roll To You

Another week has passed and it's time for another musical pun related to our research, this week it's the turn or Argent (or Kiss depending on which version you know). It's been a relatively slow w...

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Published on Sep 06, 2019

Frog or Bust!

In toad we trust, it's frog or bust! This week we’ve progressed to a suitable AC/DC pun because why not? As many of you have probably noticed we have reached our initial target of $1000! This is fa...

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Published on Aug 30, 2019

Two (thirds) out of three ain't bad

As you've probably guessed by the title of this Meatloaf-themed post, we've reached more than two thirds of our funding goal. Just under one third to go! Thanks again to everyone who has donated so...

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Hi Tim, that's great to know. Could you please email me the details via steveallain@live.co.uk so we can make sure we've got the population in your neck of the woods covered? Thanks, Steve
Aug 14, 2020
Where did the non-native UK midwife toad populations come from?
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Hi Geraldine, just a nudge to make sure you saw my previous message. We'd love to come and survey your toads this month if you're free. Steve
Aug 10, 2020
Where did the non-native UK midwife toad populations come from?
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Hi Bob, do you have a photo? If so could you please email it to me at steveallain@live.co.uk. Thanks, Steve
Jul 30, 2020
Where did the non-native UK midwife toad populations come from?
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Hi Geraldine, I sent you a message using the Experiment message system, to view it please visit https://experiment.com/inbox If it isn't there please email me at steveallain@live.co.uk and we can talk about mapping these guys and getting a sample. Steve
Jul 29, 2020
Where did the non-native UK midwife toad populations come from?
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Hi Geraldine, if you could get in touch we'd love to know more! Thanks, Steve
Jul 29, 2020
Where did the non-native UK midwife toad populations come from?
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Hi Johnnie, thanks for your words of encouragement. There is one historic data but it has not yet been validated, if you want to know more - please let me know. Also yes that is the same Trevor Beebee. He’s retired now but he’s a great friend and supported of my work.
Sep 29, 2019
Where did the non-native UK midwife toad populations come from?
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Thank you for your donation and the information Ian, I will certainly follow it up!
Aug 08, 2019
Where did the non-native UK midwife toad populations come from?
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You're very welcome Peter and thanks for your donation. Your suggestion is something we intend to do but due to the highly enclosed area where the midwife toads are, native amphibian species are very rarely seen. Common frogs (Rana temporaria) are the next most commonly observed species after the midwife toad and unfortunately tests have revealed that swabbing them for Bd isn't reliable. The other species however are on our radar.
Sep 13, 2017
Investigating the presence of the amphibian chytrid fungus in a non-native species
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Hi Peter, thank you for raising some questions - I'm more than happy to answer them for you. We're focusing on the toads as we have reason to believe that they were introduced from somewhere in Spain (waiting for the results of our genetic analysis to confirm this) and virulent strains of the chytrid fungus have caused declines in the species (and others) there. You can find out more by reading this article and others like it: Bosch, J., Martı́nez-Solano, I., & Garcı́a-Parı́s, M. (2001). Evidence of a chytrid fungus infection involved in the decline of the common midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans) in protected areas of central Spain. Biological conservation, 97(3), 331-337. They could have been infected with chytrid from a native source but we have no evidence to suggest the native amphibians are currently infected. If positive results do come back from the midwife toads then we aim to look at the lineage of Bd to try to work out its origins. If they do turn out to be infected with a virulent strain which threatens local species then mitigation will need to be put in place to ensure the disease does not spread. In terms of the loss of species due to chytrid I'd recommend this nice summary: Wake, D. B., & Vredenburg, V. T. (2008). Are we in the midst of the sixth mass extinction? A view from the world of amphibians. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105, 11466-11473. If you have any other questions or if you feel like I haven't answered yours fully then please let me know. Steve
Sep 13, 2017
Investigating the presence of the amphibian chytrid fungus in a non-native species
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Thank you for the support.
Aug 21, 2017
Investigating the presence of the amphibian chytrid fungus in a non-native species
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Thank you for the kind words of support!
Aug 21, 2017
Investigating the presence of the amphibian chytrid fungus in a non-native species
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Thanks Talita, we'll keep everyone up to date as and when developments happen!
Aug 15, 2017
Investigating the presence of the amphibian chytrid fungus in a non-native species
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