for the Department of Biology

Dr. Corey Anderson

Dr. Brad Bergstrom

Dr. Mark Blackmore

Dr. Christina Calestani

Dr. Emily Cantonwine

Dr. Richrad Carter

Dr. Eric Chambers

Dr. Teresa Doscher

Dr. John Elder

Dr. Timothy Fort

Dr. Robert Gannon

Dr. Russell Goddard

Dr. Timothy Henkel

Dr. Leslie Jones

Dr. Jonghoon Kang

Dr. J. M. Lockhart

Many potential graduate student thesis opportunities exist in my laboratory. I have three main research foci:
1. Gopher tortoise disease and demography studies
Currently, we have ongoing projects studying various parameters from a local gopher tortoise population, including evaluations of plasma chemistry, presence/absence of Salmonella sp., and presence/absence of Mycoplasma sp. (causative agent of Upper Respiratory Tract Disease – URTD). We have ongoing studies to evaluate demographic parameters of the population utilizing remote frequency identification (RFID). A tremendous backlog of data from this project exists and needs to be evaluated. Another project to be done is to genetically fingerprint each animal from stored samples and compare subpopulations and identify potentially translocated animals. We also hope to evaluate the impact (if any) that the military mission at our study site may have on the gopher tortoise population.
2. Diseases of mesomammalian predators of bobwhite quail
From 2003-2006, our lab was responsible for the necropsy of 3,700 mesomammalian predators collected by the Department of Agriculture – Wildlife Services from quail plantations in southeast Georgia and north Florida. We have banked nearly 40,000 blood and tissue samples from the animals and are analyzing samples for selected disease agents. We have continuing disease studies on canine distemper virus and Trypanosoma cruzi. Many potential projects exist with the predator removal study including evaluating specific age data in regard to disease status, geographic information system analysis of predator/disease data, predator species-specific disease studies, and various disease surveys such as Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Bartonella, and tularemia, among others.
3. Tick-borne disease ecology
My original training was with Ehrlichia chaffeensis, the causative agent of human monocytotrophic ehrlichiosis, a tick-borne disease most prevalent in the southeastern United States. My work involved the relationship between E. chaffeensis, lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum) and white-tailed deer. In south Georgia/north Florida, we have opportunities to study various tick-borne disease pathogens including Rickettsia, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, and Borrelia.

Dr. Colleen McDonough

Dr. James Nienow

Dr. Brian Ring

Dr. Jenifer Turco

Dr. Ted Uyeno