Integrative Biology of Amphibian Chemical Defenses

Laboratory for the Investigation of Dangerous Animals (LIAP)
Instituto Clodomiro Picado | Universidad de Costa Rica

We are a research team that integrates ecology, evolution, development, behavior, genomics, bioinformatics, and natural history to better understand how amphibians grow up to chemically defend themselves and how their poisons are important for our changing world. Our work also incorporates interdisciplinary perspectives such as archaeology, videography, field education, and science communication.

Our lab is bilingual, and open to diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Hay más información en español en el sitio web del Laboratorio para la Investigación de Animales Peligrosos (LIAP). Gracias por su interés en nuestro trabajo, pura vida!


Chemical Ecology of Tadpoles

histology • development of poison glands • palatability bioassays • metaanalysis

Transcriptomics of Poison Gland Ontogeny

RNA-seq • proteomics • bufadienolides • candidate genes • Bufonidae • ICGEB

Poison Frog Parental Care

chemical defense provisioning • rearing site choice • costly begging • recognition mechanisms • Dendrobatidae

Drunken Toad Mucous

gland development • proteomics • histochemistry • reproductive ecology • life history • Rhinophrynus

Ambassadors of Rain

precolumbian archaeology • cultural biogeography • iconography • ethnography • museography

Women in Herpetology

gender parity • scientometrics • empowerment of underrepresented groups • STEM diversity

Teaching Tropical Ecology

evolution of field teaching • inclusion and diversification • competencies • effective training in a changing world • OTS & NSF RCN-UBE

Vestigial Nubbins of Earless Toads

evolution of novel traits • evodevo • 3D histological reconstruction • Atelopus & Rhinella

Alkaloid Chemical Defenses and Behavior

ants & mites • Dendrobatidae • escape behavior • batrachotoxin • LC-MS • Max-Planck Institute & John Carroll University

About Us

Our amphibian research group forms part of the Laboratory for the Investigation of Dangerous Animals at the Clodomiro Picado Institute of the University of Costa Rica. In the LIAP, we are focused on understanding the chemical ecology of many different types of venomous and poisonous animals, including snakes, scorpions, spiders, frogs, and toads.

Where do we work?

Our lab is located in Dulce Nombre de Coronado, San José, Costa Rica, inside the campus of the ICP-UCR. The ICP is internationally renowned for the study and production of snake antivenins, although researchers at the ICP are more generally dedicated to the study of poisons and venoms produced by everything from bacteria to lionfish.


Group Leader:
jennifer.stynoski @ ucr.ac.cr
stynoski @ gmail.com

LIAP email:
liap.icp.ucr @ gmail.com