Meet Helen Plylar, a sensory biologist studying infrared vision in snakes!

Helen is currently a Ph.D. student at in the Grace Lab at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL. She earned in B.S. in Biological Sciences from Southeastern Louisiana University in 2013, where she also completed her M.S. in Biological Sciences in 2015. Helen is fascinated by the evolution, morphology, and function of animal sensory systems, and is particularly interested in vision and IR-imaging in snakes. Her Ph.D. project is a comparative study of infrared-imaging in pythons, boas, and pit-vipers. Through her research, she is learning about the most advanced, natural thermal sensors known to science (snake pit organs), and works to not only share this knowledge with the world, but also advocate for the snakes themselves—a group of animals that are globally mistreated and misunderstood.