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Brunner Lab News

Summer 2018 REUs to study environmental stress and disease in amphibians

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.

See the info on my collaborator, Erica Crespi’s page:

Mitch successfully defends his thesis!

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!


Well done, Mitch!

New review paper on impacts and ecology of ranavirus lineages published!

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.

It is part of a special emphasis section on ranaviruses in the latest issue of Virology:

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.


Christian and Christina join the lab!

Welcome to new masters’ students, Christian Yarber and Christina Thomas! Christian is coming to us from UT Knoxville where he worked in a number of labs, including Matt Gray’s lab doing amphibian disease experiments. Christina graduated from WSU a bit ago and has been working on tick projects in NYS all summer. So glad you two could join us!

Jesse presented on ticks at ESA in Portland

The talk was entitled, “Do small mammals ‘compete’ for ticks?”.

I made the argument, based on some simple analyses of tick burden data from an experiment in 2011 (!), that when, say, chipmunks are added to a fragment, they reduce the number of larvae feeding on mice by a small number, but that number is sufficient to offset the number fed by the chipmunk. In other words, adding chipmunks (or likely other species) would be expected to reduce the overall density of infected nymphs the next year. The slides are below. Now just need to write the dang paper!

Coolest part: my college ecology professor, the one who made me want to become an ecologist, was in the audience! Thanks, for coming and saying such nice things Mark!


Jesse presents at Ranavirus Symposium

Jesse presented results from a recent project on non-lethal methods of detecting ranavirus at the 2017 International Symposium on Ranaviruses in Budapest, Hungary. The conference was great and the location and organizers were amazing!

Here’s a PDF of the slides: ISR_2017_NonLethalDetection (Note: the manuscript is in review)

Performance of nonlethal methods of detecting Ranavirus infections in captivity and trade

Jesse L. Brunner, Anjulie Olson*, Jeremy G. Rice*, Mitchel J. Le Sage**, Jennifer A. Cundiff, Caren S. Goldberg, and Allan P. Pessier

[* undergraduate, ** grad student]