We are a diverse group of biologists interested in amphibian disease ecology, conservation, and evolution.

Ana V. Longo, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology

My research as a disease ecologist and evolutionary biologist began in my effort to understand the role of fungal pathogens in global amphibian declines and species extinctions. I was drawn to this problem more than fifteen years ago, when I learned that an extinct frog from my island Puerto Rico was infected with the amphibian-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), yet other species persisted despite infection. I employ tools from population biology, 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). I am proud to be Boricua 🇵🇷 and #productoUPR. I have one human daughter and one four-legged son.

Email me: ana.longo at
Follow my work: Google Scholar
Follow me on Twitter: @anavlongo

Arik Hartmann

Graduate Student (MS)

My research interests centers around pathogen and host interactions to better understand how host defenses, life history, and environment can influence disease susceptibility. I am particularly interested in how disease susceptibility changes with host ontogeny, especially in amphibians with more complex life cycles, such as newts. Additionally, I am passionate about community engagement and involvement in local conservation efforts, and educating the public about wildlife through outreach.

Email me: arikhartmann at
Follow me on Twitter: @AmphibiArik

Sarah McGrath-Blaser

Graduate Student (PhD)

My research interests center on discovering connections between the amphibian skin micro biome and host health with particular focus on the transfer of microbes between hosts, between hosts and their environment, and across reproduction. I am also interested in the development of novel survey methods to better detect cryptic species, such as canopy dwelling tree frogs. Other passions include science communication and outreach, which I believe are imperative for the continued development of science literacy!

Email me: sarah.mcgrath at
Follow me on Twitter: @BlasinAmphibs

Sam Shablin

Graduate Student (PhD & NSF GRFP Fellow); Co-advised by Dr. Nick Keiser

I received my B.S. in Ecology & Evolution and B.A. in History from the University of Pittsburgh. As an undergrad, I worked with the fungal pathogen Bd, and its interactions with glucocorticoids and frog behavior. My current research interests span across the fields of disease and behavioral ecology, with a particular emphasis on how disease may alter social behaviors that subsequently impact transmission rates and mate choice. Additionally, I am interested in the physiological responses that result from multiple, simultaneous parasitic relationships.

Email me: samanthashablin at
Follow me on Twitter: @SamShablin

María Torres Sánchez, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher

I am broadly interested in the mechanisms that underlie biodiversity and its evolution, especially in amphibians. My research focuses on the study of selection and adaptation processes, mainly through the analysis of genetic variation and gene expression changes within and among species. In the field of disease ecology, I am particularly interested in skin functions and their variation to study arms race dynamics between amphibians and their pathogens.​

Email me: mtorressanchez at
Follow me on Twitter: @TorresSanchezM
Follow my work: ResearchGate

Jennifer Villate

Undergraduate Student (SF2UF Bridge Program)

Short bio coming soon.

Email me: jennifer.villate at
Follow me on Twitter:

Nathalie Alomar

Undergraduate Student, MARC-GatorSTAR Program

Short bio coming soon.

Email me: nathalie.alomar at
Follow me on Twitter:

Keara Clancy

Undergraduate Student (USP Scholars)

My primary interests revolve around how ecosystems respond to invasive species. With Bd​ in particular, I am interested in patterns of spread and mortality within the state of Florida. As a University Scholars Program student, I am working with Arik Hartmann to track the historical presence of chytrid in Florida through museum specimens.

Email me: kearaclancy at
Follow me on Twitter: @MotherofMantids

Sage E. Grafe

Undergraduate Student (Emerging Scholars Program)

Short bio coming soon.

Email me: sgrafe at
Follow me on Twitter:

Anja Julian

High school student

Short bio coming soon.

Email me:
Follow me on Twitter:

Lab Alumni

  • Jaime N. Ferrer (Fall 2019, UF)
  • Ingrid Ramírez (Summer 2019, University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras)
  • Kelly R. Westfall (Summer-Fall 2019, UF)

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