Research

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Our goal is to identify and quantify the ecological factors and evolutionary processes that allow hosts to interact with their pathogens, parasites, and symbionts.

We employ tools from population biology, microbiology, epidemiology, microbial and community ecology, genomics, and evolutionary biology to distinguish mechanisms resulting in particular disease outcomes across species of amphibians, and contrasting disease states (endemic infections vs. outbreaks).

We aim to generate empirical data to answer long-standing questions in global change and disease ecology including: processes facilitating pathogen spread, heterogeneity in host defense strategies, and the contribution of species interactions to pathogen maintenance.

Considering the capacity of multi-host pathogens to cause unprecedented biodiversity loss, addressing these areas will improve our strategies to predict the impact of outbreaks and help develop novel prioritization schemes for species conservation.

Research Areas

  1. Environmental and genetic determinants of disease resistance and tolerance in direct-developing frogs.
  2. Species-level contributions to community-level disease dynamics.
  3. Host specificity in amphibian-killing fungi.
  4. Function and application of skin microbiomes for disease control in amphibians.
  5. Vertical transmission of microbes through parental care.