Matt Gray is a disease ecologist and Associate Director of the University of Tennessee (UT) Center for Wildlife Health. He also leads the UT Amphibian Disease Laboratory. His role on the project is estimating pathogen flow into the US pet amphibian trade network from international shipments and illegal seizures. He also is leading controlled experiments designed to identify mechanisms of pathogen emergence in captive amphibian populations, with a secondary goal of identifying husbandry and biosecurity practices that minimize the likelihood of pathogen spillover to wild populations. Dr. Gray is recruiting one post-doctoral scientist, one PhD student, and several research support staff. Please feel free to contact Dr. Gray about opportunities in his lab. Also, see posted positions on the Opportunities page.
Dr. Matthew Gray
Nina Fefferman is a mathematical modeler whose work focuses on emergent complex systems in the life sciences. She is the Director of NIMBioS and an Associate Director of the UT One Health Initiative. Her role on the project will be to design, build, and analyze the mathematical models that will help us to understand and predict the disease dynamics in the US pet amphibian trade network as the confluence of coupled behavioral, economic, and epidemiological systems. She will be working closely with all the empirical researchers on the project team to ensure the models do a good job to capture the real-world nuances and linkages. Dr. Fefferman is recruiting one post-doctoral scientist for the project. See our Opportunities page for more info.
Dr. Nina Fefferman
Jonah Piovia-Scott is an ecologist and conservation biologist who has been studying amphibian disease for >14 years. His research group will be using laboratory experiments to evaluate the susceptibility of commonly traded amphibians to three key pathogens (Bsal, Bd, and Ranavirus). In addition to the recruited PhD student, Dr. Piovia-Scott is planning to recruit undergraduate technicians and research interns. See our Opportunities page for more info.
Dr. Jonah Piovia-Scott
Alexa Warwick is an engagement/outreach specialist and conservation biologist in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University (MSU). She works jointly with MSU Extension and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to develop, evaluate, and improve wildlife and conservation-related engagement/outreach programs. Her role in the project will be designing and administering social science surveys of amphibian pet businesses and consumers, conducting focus groups with state and federal government natural resources agency staff, and coordinating outreach efforts. Check out the opportunities page for undergraduate student positions.
Dr. Alexa Warwick
Jesse Brunner is a disease ecologist in the School of Biological Sciences at Washington State University. His research focuses on the ecology of infectious disease, especially in amphibians. His laboratory will be estimating the prevalence or commonness of several important pathogens (or placing upper bounds on how common they could be if not found) in different segments of the amphibian pet trade.
Dr. Jesse Brunner
Julie Lockwood is a conservation biologist in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources at Rutgers University. Her research centers on the prevention and management of invasive species, the socio-ecological dynamics of the wildlife trade, and the impacts of climate change and clean energy production on biodiversity. Her lab will provide information on the species of amphibians involved in the US domestic trade, and their retail prices. She will also contribute to efforts to capture trade dynamics in network models. Her team will handle group data management and archiving.
Dr. Julie Lockwood
Neelam Poudyal is a natural resource social scientist at the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, & Fisheries at the University of Tennessee. His research focuses on understanding the attitudes and behaviors of various stakeholders as they relate to the environment and natural resources. His role in the project will be to design and administer social science surveys of business and consumers in pet amphibian industry to understand how values, knowledges impact their behavior and also to characterize the economic value of clean trade practice to the industry and net economic benefit of amphibian biodiversity to the general public.
Dr. Neelam Poudyal
Molly Bletz is a disease and microbial ecologist and is currently a research associate at University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also the Director of International Disease Mitigation for the Amphibian Survival Alliance. She is leading controlled experiments designed to identify mechanisms of pathogen emergence in captive amphibian populations which will help identify husbandry and biosecurity practices that minimize the likelihood of pathogen spillover to wild populations. She is also leading the microbial community sequencing of trade surveillance samples and experiments.Molly is recruiting one master's student and potentially one post-doctoral scientist for the project. See our Opportunities page for more info.
Dr. Molly Bletz
Ryan Almeida is a conservation ecologist in the graduate program of Ecology & Evolution at Rutgers University. His research focuses on understanding extinction risks associated with species in the wildlife trade. His role in the project is estimating the species composition, volume, and selling prices associated with amphibian trade in the United States.
Davis Carter is a disease ecologist who is currently a Post Doc in the University of Tennessee Center for Wildlife Health. Davis completed his PhD in Natural Resources at the University of Tennessee working with Dr. Matthew Gray in the UT Amphibian Disease Laboratory. He will be assisting with estimating pathogen prevalence and flow within the US pet amphibian trade network and illegal import seizures.
Dr. Davis Carter
Susie Masecar is a conservation veterinarian and PhD student in the Piovia-Scott laboratory at the University of Washington – Vancouver. Her research interests include the pathophysiology of amphibian diseases, the role of ecological factors in susceptibility, and how veterinary science can advance amphibian conservation. Dr. Masecar’s role in the project is using laboratory experiments to evaluate the susceptibility of commonly traded amphibians to key pathogens.
Dr. Susana Masecar
Gia Haddock is a wildlife biologist with special interests in disease ecology, herptiles, and human dimensions. She is a graduate student in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. Her previous work has focused on amphibian pet trade stakeholders and their relationships to each other and the spread of disease through interviews. She will continue working in a social science capacity collecting and analyzing data from surveys and focus groups to understand and engage with amphibian pet trade stakeholders.
Bob Pearhill is a PhD student in the Brunner laboratory at Washington State University - Pullman. His research interests center around how husbandry practices, primarily biosecurity, influence pathogen evolution in captive settings. He will be assisting with pathogen surveillance in the US pet trade by building and processing DNA testing kits.
Dr. Pedro Viadanna is an aquatic veterinarian who is currently a Post Doc in the Brunner lab at Washington State University. His research interests center around the epidemiology and risk factors of pathogens infecting aquatic animal species. He will be assisting with pathogen surveillance in the US pet trade by building and processing DNA testing kits and estimating pathogen prevalence and risk factors associated with the different segments of the amphibian pet trade.
Dr. Pedro Viadanna