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iButtons® in the World: The African Savanna

It’s not often we get to gloat about our products, but in this instance we find it important to share our customers’ work. 

Robert Pringle is an Assistant Professor at Princeton University in the Ecology/Evolutionary Biology Department. Dr. Pringle has researched extensively how unrelated species interact with not only each other, but with environmental factors as well. Dr. Pringle specializes on African savanna ecosystems, in central Kenya and Mozambique; he is currently working with Princeton doctoral candidate Tyler Coverdale to understand how elephants impact the environment around them both directly and indirectly. Here is Dr. Pringle on his collaboration with Coverdale:

"Elephants are messy eaters, and frequently tear off large branches from trees. Although this sounds destructive, the downed branches can provide a safe environment for vulnerable grasses and wildflowers -- not only by protecting these plants from smaller herbivores like zebras and gazelles, but also by providing protection from the harsh sun."

Armed with DS1923 iButtons® and Thermodata Viewer Software, Pringle and Coverdale are setting out to measure temperature and humidity levels from the debris left from the elephants. Says Coverdale: “by better understanding how elephants effect the diversity and stability of plant populations, we hope to reframe longstanding perceptions of elephant ‘damage’ in savannas”.

For a look at Dr. Pringle and his work, please visit his bio here: Dr. Robert Pringle. For a look at Mr. Coverdale's doctoral work, please visit his site here: Tyler C. Coverdale

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Photo credit: Max Potthoff. 

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