How do predators affect disease dynamics in their prey? Experimental tests of the healthy herds hypothesis with fish predators, zooplankton hosts, and a fungal parasite

T’Kai Adekunle, a student from Savannah State University, worked with Dr. Robbie Richards and Dr. Alex Strauss to understand how predators affect disease dynamics in their prey. Abstract: The healthy herds hypothesis is the idea that predators reduce the spread of disease in prey/host populations. There are three primary mechanisms by which  this effect may occur:

Temperature fluctuation on disease transmission in multi-host communities

Jenavier Tejada, a student at Denison University, worked in the lab of Dr. Alex Strauss Abstract The dilution effect seeks to explain disease transmission in environments with multiple species. Essentially, the dilution effect predicts an increase in diversity will lead to a decrease in disease transmission. In zooplankton communities, the resistant diluter, Ceriodaphnia dubia can

Approximating abundance of Daphnia dentifera using environmental DNA (eDNA) samples

Emily Landolt, a student in St. Norbert College, worked in the lab of Dr. Alex Strauss Abstract Freshwater zooplankton, such as Daphnia dentifera, are helpful model organisms for studying infectious disease dynamics and are ecologically important because of their role in food webs. They are consumers of primary producers like algae and are prey for

Infection and Spore Yield of Daphnia Microsporidian

Hannah O’Grady, a student at Mount Holyoke College, worked in the lab of Dr. Alex Strauss. Abstract An important part of understanding how diseases spread and impact a community is understanding the tradeoffs that occur when a parasite generalizes. While sampling ponds in Whitehall Forest we discovered a potentially novel microsporidian that was able to