Researching venomous snakes likely isn’t high on the list for most people who visit Paris. But it is the focus for Whitman’s Kate Jackson, assistant professor of biology and renowned herpetologist, and students Khoa Nguyen’12 and Claire Snyder ’12.
The trio received a Perry Summer Research Award, which provides funding for Whitman professors to employ students to collaborate on professional scholarship that often leads to a book, a published paper or creative work. The Perry awards were established to honor Louis B. Perry, Whitman’s eighth president (1959-1967) and an emeritus member of the Board of Overseers.
The research endeavor has become the subject of a posting on the blog Science + Story. Blogger and site proprietor Ann Downer-Hazell, a science editor who worked at Harvard University Press for 16 years, explains the blog this way: “I'm interested in the place where science meets story.”
Originally the Whitman team was to have studied forest cobras at the Paris natural history museum, but a museum researcher was working with the collection. So Jackson’s team shifted to “petits serpents bruns” – little brown snakes.