Seed Grant in Pathogenic and Commensal Organisms
Organizers are Bryan Stuart, Brenna Forrester, Thomas Lentz, Daniel Dembrowski, Lori Williams, and Julie Horvath. Newly discovered pathogens (three fungal, one viral) that cause disease have been implicated in declines of wild populations of amphibians and reptiles around the world. Humans are spreading these pathogens through commerce of live amphibians and reptiles for pets, food, medicine and research, as well as through changes to the environment. The presence and negative impacts of these pathogens are unknown or poorly understand in NC, a state that harbors a very high diversity of amphibians and reptiles, especially salamanders. This project will test wild and captive amphibians and reptiles, especially declining native species, across the state for the presence of these four pathogens. The results will be used as a baseline for research on where these pathogens originated, how they spread, and the consequences of their infection in wild amphibians and reptiles in NC.