Using Environmental and Natural History Traits to Predict On-going Global Amphibian Die-offs

Kristina Frogoso, a student from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, worked with Dr. Scott Connelly to examine the threat of a fungal pathogen to amphibian populations. Abstract: Biodiversity loss is occurring in substantial rates, and more specifically we are seeing major amphibian declines due to infectious diseases. One infectious disease in particular is

Is the Transmission Rate of The Wolbachia Parasite Lower in Hybrids Compared To Pure Species?

Jasmine Gipson, from Kennesaw State University, worked with Dr. Kelly Dyer in the UGA Genetics department to study the transmission of Wolbachia, a parasite of insects. Abstract: Wolbachia is an endosymbiont parasite that lives in the reproductive system 70% of all insects. It is passed down vertically to its offspring from the mother. Wolbachia occurs

Visualizing the Effect of Interventions during the 2014-2015 West Africa Ebola Outbreak

Timothy Wildauer, a student from Bethany Lutheran College, worked with Dr. John Drake to test new methods of determining time of infection for Ebola patients. Abstract: Data recorded during the 2014-2015 West Africa Ebola Outbreak indicates when patients presented themselves at a hospital for treatment. However, to know if interventions were successful, we need to

Protective Population Behavior Change in Outbreaks of Emerging Infectious Disease

Evans Lodge, a student from Calvin College, worked with Dr. John Drake to measure how human behaviors change during disease outbreaks. Abstract: In outbreaks of emerging infectious disease, public health interventions aim at increasing the speed with which infected individuals are removed from the susceptible population, limiting opportunities for secondary infection. Isolation, hospitalization, and barrier-nursing

Behavioral determinants of parasite transmission in a monarch (Danaus plexippus) population

Anna Schneider, a student from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, worked with mentors Dr. Sonia Altizer, Dr. Richard Hall, and Ania Majewska to look at how butterfly behavior affects parasite transmission. Abstract: Altered behavior of an infected host can have important consequences for pathogen transmission. Pathogens can cause the host to increase foraging behavior and

Predicting the Effectiveness of Novel Tuberculosis Regimens

Taylor Joseph, a student from Michigan State University, worked with Dr. Andreas Handel to use computational methods to examine new tuberculosis treatment regimes. Abstract: Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the world’s most deadly diseases, as current treatment protocols are far outdated and often ineffective. Furthermore, current regimens are complicated and last many months, often leading

Environmental and host factors affect bacterial community structure in the mosquito gut

Sofia Bertoloni Meli, a student from Indiana University, worked with Dr. Michael Strand and Kerri Coon to studied the microbial community found in the gut of mosquitoes. Abstract: Insects host many essential microbial symbionts. The bacteria in mosquito guts are important for development, nutrient acquisition, and reproduction. Developing mosquito larvae acquire their gut bacterial community

Effectiveness of low sensitivity interventions in west Africa Ebola epidemic

Richard Williams, a student from Morehouse College, worked with Dr. John Drake to develop a model examining the effectiveness of low-sensitivity interventions in disease outbreaks. Abstract: We conducted a theoretical study to investigate the effect of low sensitivity interventions on the containment of an emerging pathogen. Low sensitivity interventions  such as thermal scans for febrile

Microparasite challenge and subsequent energy trade-offs in an invasive crab species

Zain Aryanpour, a student at the University of Alabama, worked with Dr. Jeb Byers and Carrie Keogh to examine the cost of infection on immune response of an invasive crab species. Abstract: Invasive species often show phenotypic distinctions in relation to their native-range species. A topic of current interest in populations of invasive species is

Identifying Avian Haemosporidians in Turkey Vultures and Black Vultures from South Carolina

Alexandra Wickson, a student at the University of Georgia, worked with Dr. Michael Yabsley and others in his lab to determine parasite prevalence in vulture populations. Abstract: Avian haemosporidian blood parasites are widespread among many families of birds and, in some species, can cause avian malaria.  In previous studies on blood parasites of vultures, prevalence