My interests currently focus on the evolution of toxin resistance in snakes. Toad-eating snakes in particular, who have evolved a resistance to the cardiotonic steroid bufadienolide. These toxins are produced in the skin and paratoid glands of toads. When consumed, they act on the sodium-potassium pumps in heart muscle cells, triggering a series of physiological events that cause irregular heart beats and increased contraction force, which, if prolonged, lead to death. I am ultimately trying to figure out how these snakes resist bufadienolide by looking at the physiological and genetic aspects of the question.
In addition to my research, I have been an active member of the Smithsonian community since 2004, having worked on various collection management projects with the division of Amphibians and Reptiles and taxonomic projects with the Integrative Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) group.
2011 EOL Fellow
EOL fellow, I will be using knowledge accumulated from years of taxonomic work at the Smithsonian and biological research at universities to build taxon pages for several major groups of snakes. My work with the Encyclopedia of Life will enable researchers to easily access information, drastically abridging the amount of time that is normally spent on literature research. In addition, a single, authoritative online source about snakes worldwide, will be an important resource for the general public.
- Full name
- Shab Mohammadi
- Curator level
- Full Curator
- Education B.S., Biology, George Mason University (2007) M.S., Biology, Old Dominion University (2011) Ph.D., Biology, Utah State University (present)
- Curation scope
- Snake species of the world