Mitch successfully defended his masters thesis last week! Entitled, “Are scavengers good for your health? The effect of scavengers on disease transmission,” it focuses on determining whether invertebrate scavengers, primarily dytiscid beetle larvae, minimize transmission from infectious carcasses to naive amphibian larvae through necrophagy (they do) or, by being messy eaters, increase transmission through the water (they don’t). It’s pretty cool! He’s preparing the manuscript for submission and then off to greener pastures!
Ana Trejo and Anna Aviles were award College of Arts and Sciences’ Undergraduate Science Grants to support their summer research.
Ana T will be testing whether hormones can cause subclinical ranavirus infections in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) to reactivate. She has been collaborating with Jacques Robert at University of Rochester and Erica Crespi here in SBS on this project, too.
Anna A will be using security cameras to track the movements of long toed salamander larvae (Ambystoma macrodactylum) in response to predator cues. She will test whether anti-predator behaviors are long-lasting and whether they affect contact rates and therefore might influence pathogen transmission.