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Brunner Lab News

Bailey Towey joins the Brunner lab

Bailey Towey is working with Mitch Le Sage (MS) on invertebrate scavengers of salamander larvae. She will be estimating the “functional response”—the rate at which scavengers consume amphibian carcasses as carcass density increases—in local ponds and in the lab. This work nicely complements Mitch’s work on scavengers and ranavirus transmission. Glad you’re joining the lab, Bailey!

Ana Trejo and Anna Aviles awarded CAS grants!

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.

Well done Ana and Anna!

Paper on ranavirus transmission published in Ecology

Brunner, J. L., L. Beaty, A. Guitard, and D. Russel. 2017. Heterogeneities in the infection process drive ranavirus transmission. Ecology 98:576-582.

We finally published our first mesocosm transmission study. This was a long time in coming. The experiment was actually conducted in 2010, right before my son was born and we moved to WSU and oh so many things happened. Samples were screwed up, data were lost. Then making sense of the messy data. On and on it went for years! But thankfully, my wonderful crew of undergraduate assistants—now grad students and professionals—and coauthors never gave up on me. And here it is! Plus, it’s a pretty cool story about what controls transmission!

Two new papers on ranavirus distribution

Kolozsvary, M. B., and J. L. Brunner. 2016. Presence of ranavirus in a created temporary pool complex in southeastern New York, USA. Herpetological Review 47 in press

Take home: RV is present in created pools. How does the ranavirus get there? We don’t know

O’Connor, K. M., T. A. G. Rittenhouse, and J. L. Brunner. 2016. Ranavirus is common in wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) tadpoles throughout Connecticut. Herpetological Review 47:394-397.

Take home: RV is widespread in CT, but die-offs are rare!

Jesse gave a lecture at Purdue

Thanks to Jason Hoverman for hosting me and for everyone else who showed me around, taught me interesting things, and generally made fro a great visit!

Title: “How are they not all dead?” The importance of heterogeneity in the ranavirus-amphibian system