collins lab salamander image School of Life Sciences Arizona State University Collins Lab


Former Student

Amy Greer  Amy Greer

PhD received, now at The Hospital for Sick Children

The creation of protected areas such as National Parks is important for the protection of species whose populations are under constant pressure. The creation of Park boundaries protects species from a great many dangers but neglects to protect them from the movement of infectious diseases, which is a fundamental problem for conserving biodiversity. In an era of global problems that are boundary free it becomes important to view boundaries in the context of the ecosystem in which the problem exists. I propose to address how spatial heterogeneity at different levels could provide a mechanism by which to buffer disease emergence and spread using a simplified model system (Ambystoma tigrinum and Ambystoma tigrinum virus). Grand Canyon National Park and the Kaibab National Forest where I conduct my fieldwork provide a distinctive opportunity to conduct this research in a natural environment. To manage our natural resources we have to understand host –pathogen dynamics. The salamander-ATV model system within and around the north rim of the Grand Canyon National Park provides us with the opportunity to consider ways in which management may be able to address these sorts of issues. Infectious diseases have rendered our park borders indefinite. Scientists must think creatively about what it means to erect boundaries and how they should be constructed in an era of emerging infectious diseases.

<<back to main people page