COVID-19 kept Stacey Weiss and her students from traveling to Arizona for their research on the striped plateau lizard. So they found new lizards closer to home.

Stacey Weiss didn’t have to look very far to find new lizards. When COVID-19 kept Weiss from returning to her study site in southeast Arizona last year, the William L. McCormick professor of natural sciences found locations not far from Tacoma where she could continue her research on the microbiomes of lizards—specifically, the protective microbes that female lizards pass on during egg-laying. We asked Weiss about adapting her research, the joys of collaborating with undergrads, and why swabs and miniature lassos are essential to her work.