NSF Grants Researchers Nearly $ 1 Million to Investigate What a Salamander Virus Can Tell Us About the Future of Biodiversity Amid a Changing Climate

A new project from two Northern Arizona University (NAU) scientists aims to predict the future—specifically, the future of different amphibian species in the face of an unpredictable environment. Principal investigator Joseph Mihaljevic, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the NAU School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems who studies the ecology of infectious diseases, and co-principal investigator Jason Ladner, PhD, Assistant Professor in the NAU Pathogen and Microbiome Institute who studies genomic epidemiology, have received an $844,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study ectotherms—a type of cold-blooded organisms that includes amphibians, fish, reptiles, and insects. Their project is intended to create better, more predictive models to help scientists understand how climate change and infectious diseases will likely interact in the future to impact the health of wildlife species and predict how climate and disease affect these species, including those at risk of extinction.

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