Faculty members and students from the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Department of Biology have had an abstract accepted for presentation at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. Their submission, "Susceptibility of North Georgia amphibian populations to chytridiomycosis," will be presented at Eastern Washington University in April.
Dr. Jeanelle Morgan, lecturer of biology, Dr. Natalie Hyslop, associate professor of biology, and their research students collaborated on the project, which was selected from among more than 3,700 other projects.
The team collected skin swab samples from wild amphibians to survey the presence of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes Chytridiomycosis, an infectious skin disease that targets the keratinized skin cells in some species. It is shown that Chytridiomycosis may be fatal to various species and is a major cause of amphibian declines globally. The team will present preliminary results on the level of Bd currently found in the Tumbling Creek area, where they caught the amphibians to test. With the research they hope to expand the knowledge of the occurrence of Chytridiomycosis in the region.