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Biology students participate in BioBlitz

SWOSU Biology Group Participates in BioBlitz

Photo Caption: SWOSU biology students and faculty recently participated in the 2018 Oklahoma BioBlitz. Attending were (from left): Amber Powers, Addy Hume, Theresa Stein, Dr. Lisa Castle, Dr. Rickey Cothran, Dovile Strimaityte, Monica Bennett, Shayla Miller, Benjamin Dressler, Jennifer Abshire, Chris Reyes (friend of SWOSU biology), Randi Reyes, Abbagale Bond, Dillan Robbins, Anthony Nguyen, Cole Edens, Hunter Hines, Hayden Carey and Jeremy Welsh. Not pictured is Dr. Zach Jones.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s Department of Biological Sciences recently participated in the 2018 Oklahoma BioBlitz at Greenleaf State Park near Braggs.

Oklahoma BioBlitz is a rapid inventory of biodiversity in a particular area over a 24-hour period. The effort includes participants from several Oklahoma colleges and universities as well as citizen scientists.

The SWOSU group was responsible for surveying aquatic invertebrates that call Greenleaf Lake home. According to Dr. Rickey Cothran, the group contributed 42 species of aquatic invertebrates to the species count. The final species count was 762 species and included lichens, plants, fungi and animals.

In addition to assisting with the survey, students participated in a number of educational walks to learn about organisms in the park and assisted the University of Oklahoma Biological Survey staff with the event.

Next year’s Oklahoma BioBlitz will be held in the fall at Sequoyah State Park on the shores of Fort Gibson Lake in northeast Oklahoma. This area includes a patchwork of grassland and forests and harbors many of Oklahoma's cave ecosystems.

The OU Biological Survey has been coordinating BioBlitz annually since 2001. Anyone can volunteer in this effort to learn more about the biodiversity in Oklahoma. More information about Oklahoma’s BioBlitz, past and present, can be found at