Friday, May 17, 2019

We Have Moved

Hi all. I just want to pop in and let everyone know that I have migrated to a new site. The Prancing Papio is no longer active.

Please visit my personal website to learn more about my research and exciting current news. Thank you.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Experience My Color Vision Research and The Duke Lemur Center In Virtual Reality On Google Expeditions

I am really excited to share with you this amazing news! Three of the Google Expeditions that I worked on over the past year is now live! Just in time for World Lemur Day!

You can now go on a virtual tour "Can Ruffed Lemurs See Red?" to watch me do my lemur research at Duke Lemur Center. In this expedition, you will be able to see my research area and experience my color vision research as if you are there in person! What else can you see in this expedition? The surprise awaits ....

There is also a simulated expedition "Color Blindness in Lemurs" that lets you perceive the world as a dichromatic or trichromatic lemur! This collaboration with Vida Systems models polymorphic color vision in lemurs and lets viewer experience their world through virtual reality. What does the world look like if you are a color blind lemur? Take a look yourself ...

Lastly, you can take a virtual tour of "The Duke Lemur Center" to learn more about this research facility and the lemurs that call this special place home. Meet some of the rare and elusive lemurs.

Here is the list of the three Google Expeditions, with a brief description of the expedition:

1. Can Ruffed Lemurs See Red?
Ruffed lemurs are usually colorblind—all males are—but some females can see something the others can’t: the color red. But how do you ask a lemur to tell you what they see? Learn about Raymond Vagell’s color vision research at Duke Lemur Center. He asks lemurs to show him whether they can see red using a touchscreen. 

2. Color Blindness in Lemurs
Lemurs are a group of small primates found only on the small island of Madagascar. Due to Madagascar’s highly variable climate lemur evolution has produced a wide range of species, remarkable for such a small geographic area. Studies into Lemur’s visual system has revealed what colors these creatures can, and cannot see.

3. The Duke Lemur Center
The Duke Lemur Center in Durham, North Carolina (USA) has the largest collection of captive lemurs outside of Madagascar. Its mission is to advance lemur science and conservation, and is also open to the public for guided tours.

To find out how Google Expeditions work, click here. To access these expeditions, you'll need to download Google Expeditions and use a Google virtual reality headset such as a Google Cardboard. Follow instructions on the app on how launch Google Expeditions and view these lemur expeditions. Search the keyword "lemurs"

Thursday, June 22, 2017

I Graduated!

Woohoo! I have finally defended my Masters thesis and graduated from the Animal Behavior and Conservation (ABC) program at Hunter College. It has been a long and winding road but I am very glad that this chapter of my life is over. Thanks to those that have been instrumental in getting me graduated, especially my advisers.

You can now read my Masters Thesis online from CUNY Academic Works:

Vagell, Raymond, "Does Genotype Correlate With Phenotype? Evaluating Ruffed Lemur (Varecia spp.) Color Vision Using Subject Mediated Automatic Remote Testing Apparatus (SMARTA)" (2017). CUNY Academic Works.

Thesis defense

My advisers: (left) Dr. Andrea Baden and (right) Dr. Jim Gordon


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Using Positive Reinforcement to Assist With Lemur Research: "50 Years of Lemurs at Duke" Exhibit

Were you able to check out the "50 Years of Lemurs at Duke" Exhibit In Duke University Perkins Library at Duke University? As I have mentioned here before, my lemur color vision research was featured in the "current research" exhibit as well as in an interactive video that talks about positive reinforcement. 

Communication & Behavior: Ruffed lemur color vision study

Interactive video: Using Positive Reinforcement to Assist With Lemur Research

If you weren't able to check out the exhibit, don't fret. I'm posting the "positive reinforcement" video here today. It's a short segment on how lemurs are trained using positive reinforcement for lemur research. Watch for my cameo, as well as my very smart black and white ruffed lemur Halley. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

New Year, Same Research

Happy Lemur New Year!

Hope everyone had a great holiday and a new year. I spent Christmas and New Year in London and it was wonderful. I really needed the time off in my motherland. I'm excited that I finally had time to check out London Zoo (ZSL). They have amazing ring-tailed lemur and aye-aye exhibits! I also love their loris exhibits.

Me and some ring-tailed lemurs

The Spring 2017 semester research has started and I am back in Durham for the week to meet my new research assistants. This semester, I will have 3 (possibly 4) research assistants to help me with my SMARTA color vision research. I am very excited to return to Duke Lemur Center and to continue my research, which was on hold since Thanksgiving. It was so nice to see the lemurs again. I do miss them.

My research is coming to an end soon. I am hoping to wrap everything up by the end of this Summer. I am going to miss Duke Lemur Center a lot so I am hoping to take in as much as I can this few months.

I low key love this place ;P