The New York Times reported today on a recent paper in Nature Methods that indicated that stress levels of lab rats varied depending on whether the scientist in the room with them was a man or a woman. This effect existed even in response to t-shirts worn by a man or a woman.
This got me thinking: could the same factor effect lizard behavior studies? In many cases, anoles are studied by an observer quietly watching or recording lizards from a distance of a few meters. Many anole species seem unperturbed by the presence of observers and go about their activities in a seemingly natural way. But does the presence of an observer have an effect? Are they warier? Do they display less? And, more to the point, does the identity of the observer have an effect? Men are, on average, bigger than women, so might that matter? Some people are more fidgetty than others. Clothes? Facial hair? I am aware of a few studies on observer effects on lizard behavior (such as this one on the brown anole), but not many.