Student NameKeara Clancy
Faculty Mentor NameDr. Ana Longo
CollegeLiberal Arts and Sciences
MajorWildlife Ecology and Conservation
Research InterestsEcological studies, in the context of invasive species.
Academic AwardsDoris Duke Conservation Scholar; Doris Lowe and Earl and Verna Lowe Scholarship; Florida Wildlife Federation Scholarship (Spring 2018); UF CAL's Deans List (Fall, 2017; Fall & Spring, 2018); Monica Stokely Memorial Scholarship (Spring 2017); Sharon Fitz-Coy Memorial Award (Fall, 2017)
OrganizationsVice-President of Natural Resources Diversity Initiative (NRDI)
Hobbies and InterestsArt, Photography, Cooking

Research Project

Forewarned is Forearmed: Isolating Novel Strains of Batrachochytrium

We are proposing to isolate novel strains of chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium) from frogs within Florida. Research has unveiled phylogenetic diversity within Batrachochytrium, so by isolating these strains, insight into potential for pathogenesis and virulence can be evaluated. Potentially virulent strains are a biosecurity risk, and ‘forewarned is forearmed.’ Ultimately, we expect to obtain a comprehensive sampling of chytrid strains for use in susceptibility trials with animals. With increasing accounts of Bd in Florida, insight into the interactions of the fungus with native frogs will grant foresight into potential management strategies and impact control. Furthermore, the presence of certain bacteria reduces mortality rates in some frog species. These strains will prove useful for running bacterial challenges to test the chytrid’s ability to grow when exposed to isolated bacterial symbionts. In this regard, particularly susceptible species can be identified based on their skin’s bacterial symbionts and their ability to resist the fungus. These extensions center around risk management, a vital precaution for preserving amphibian populations in the face of a mass extinction. These efforts are particularly worthwhile in Florida, where a disease known as Ranavirus already threatens local populations of Anurans.