I am interested in the ecology of aquatic pathogens of amphibians. Many of these pathogens are passed through the water without direct contact between hosts, allowing for greater interspecies transmission. Currently I work in high elevation ponds in Central Arizona where the pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (BD) infects several species of amphibians. I study the susceptibility of amphibian hosts to BD and the ability of some hosts to act as disease reservoirs for more susceptible species. Understanding the epidemiology of BD is an important component of developing management plans for species susceptible to BD. The results from this work will apply to other amphibian communities around the world where BD is causing local extinctions of amphibian populations as well as to other aquatic and oceanic systems, such as pathogenic coral fungi, dermo disease in oysters, and avian flu in waterfowl.
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