2000 Undergraduate Laerm Award Winners
One of the undergraduate awards in 2000 was to Chris Faggioni, of the Institute of Ecology. He requested support to conduct research under the direction of Dr. Peter Daszak on the presence of the frog pathogen Batrachochytrium in a long-term, stable population. This fungus is the cause of massive declines in amphibian populations throughout the world. He performed a histologic survey of specimens from the Savannah River Plant curated at the Georgia Museum of Natural History and from SREL during regular amphibian surveys to investigate this fungus in a stable amphibian population. He planed to submit the results of his work to Conservation Biology. The award was used to cover travel expenses to the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and the costs of the histology work.
The second undergraduate award in 2000 was to Tricia Michele Rodriguez, also of the Institute of Ecology. She requested funds to conduct research under the direction of Dr. Peter Daszak on the impact of the disease chytridiomycosis on the feeding activities of Rana pipiens tadpoles. This fungal disease is fatal to post-metamorphic frogs but little is known about its impact on frog larvae. She planed to examine the impact of the disease on tadpoles. If infected tadpoles are affected by the disease, this will be important to programs reintroducing tadpoles into the wild. The award was used to purchase supplies necessary for the study. Tricia later became an Intern in the Museum.