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


Former Student

Verma Miera  Verma Miera


My research in amphibian disease is driven by my true passion in the natural history of the southwestern United States, with a particular interest in southwestern amphibians. Prior to coming to Arizona State University, I worked for Arizona Game and Fish Department on the Conservation of Arizona’s native ranids. My current research has focused on the biology of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the Mogollon Rim of Arizona. A multi-host fungal pathogen of amphibians, this pathogen has variable effects on its many hosts, with outcome of infection ranging from highly pathogenic to apparently negligible. The population effects of B. dendrobatidis infection are equally variable, ranging from catastrophic decline of some amphibian species, while other species have remained common despite endemic infection. This outcome of infection varies not only by host, but also by environmental context. The Mogollon Rim has species that are both sensitive, tolerant and relatively resistant to infection under laboratory conditions, while the environmental conditions on the rim vary from extremely favorable for B. dendrobatidis spread and growth, to quite unfavorable. My research at ASU has focused on how this pathogen behaves in the extant amphibian communities still common in the Mogollon Rim, with the future goal of understanding how species composition and environmental context affect disease prevalence and outcome in amphibian communities

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