The lab has two new members! PhD students Cara Giordano and Gustavo Ruano-Fajardo joined the lab this semester. Cara graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor's degree in biology and environmental sciences, with a specialization in conservation. Her undergraduate research investigated natural and sexual selection in brown anoles, focusing primarily on the role of secondary sexual characteristics as honest signals of male quality. After graduating, she worked for the National Park Service conducting invasive plant management in the DC metropolitan area. She is interested in investigating species responses to environmental changes induced by human activity.
Gustavo graduated from the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala – USAC, where he investigated salamanders and bromeliads interaction. He then obtained a master from the Universidade Federal de Alagoas (Brazil), continuing his research on bromeligenous amphibians, this time incorporating the risk of infection with the chytrid fungus in frogs of the Northeastern Atlantic Forest of Brazil. Bromeliad tanks are important for amphibians because they may be environmental refuges from diseases, climatic change, and habitat loss. Understanding amphibian dynamics within this microhabitat could be fundamental for amphibian diversity facing threats from global change. His current research interests are the amphibian microbiome, host-pathogen interactions, and bromeliads micro-ecosystems.
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