This was a fun project with Joe Mihaljevic (NAU) and Amy Greer (Guelph, formerly in the Collins lab with me) where we put together simple models of viral growth and an immune response and fit them to data on viral titers in bullfrog tadpoles collected over time. (The data paper is still in review.) I have been wanting to model these dynamics for years, but lacked the skill set to do it well, so it was a real pleasure to see this come together.
The paper from Mitch Le Sage’s M.S. thesis is now available online. It’s a nice set of studies, done with the help of Bailey Towey, looking at how scavenging invertebrates remove carcasses and thus can prevent pathogen transmission. Plus, pretty figures. Nice one, Mitch!
Le Sage, M. J., B. D. Towey, and J. L. Brunner. 2019. Do scavengers prevent or promote disease transmission? The effect of invertebrate scavenging on Ranavirus transmission. Functional Ecology
Johnna Eilers has been working with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources for the last several years doing any number of cool wildlife projects in remote areas. Fortunately for us, she has decided that she’d like to be in charge of her own research project and so will be joining my and Jeb Owen’s labs this fall to start her MS research on Dermacentor andersoni ecology. We’re looking forward to her arrival!
Brendalis Camacho just graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology and joins us for a summer REU to work on viral replication rates as a function of temperature. She is is wonderfully proficient with cell culture, so she is showing Jesse how things should be done. Welcome Brendalis!
We are fortunate to have two new PhD students join the lab this summer. Erin Keller just received her M.S. from U Vermont foe her work on the ecology of a gregarine parasite of invasive earthworms. Very cool work. See her website for more: https://erinlkeller.com/
Emily Burton just graduated from Villanova, where she worked on several projects related to bird population genetics and evolution, and promptly started her field work at the Cary Institute!
This is now very old news, but at first it wasn’t official and then all of a sudden we were in the thick of it! Anyway, our grant, “Linking environmental challenges to the likelihood and severity of epidemics: A view through the shifting window of susceptibility,” was funded by NSF’s DEB! Whoo hoo! Erica Crespi and Tracy Rittenhouse are the other PIs.
We are looking for REUs for the summer of 2018 to work on projects related to stress physiology and disease susceptibility as part of a larger grant. There are opportunities to work on projects from amphibian immunology to mathematical models of disease.
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!
A new review paper that I was part of is now published. Stephen Price really led this effort and produced some very cool figures. Take a look! It is a nice global overview of the impacts of ranaviruses on their hosts.
Price, S. J., E. Ariel, A. Maclaine, G. M. Rosa, M. J. Gray, J. L. Brunner, and T. W. J. Garner. 2017. From fish to frogs and beyond: Impact and host range of emergent ranaviruses. Virology 511:272-279.