Archive for the News Category

Biosecurity needs addressed by Woodhams lab and collaborators

In an article in Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, the Woodhams lab and collaborators provide a resource for the scientific community on best practices for biosecurity when working in the lab with wildlife pathogens such as Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans. The authors recommend responsibly containing pathogens is up to individual labs and institutional oversight may not be adequate.

 

Woodhams DC, Madison JD, Bletz MC, McCartney J, LaBumbard BC, Whetstone R, McDonnell NB, Preissler K, Sabino-Pinto J, Piovia-Scott J. Responsible biosecurity and risk mitigation for laboratory research on emerging pathogens of amphibians. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. 147:141-148. doi: 10.3354/dao03636.

Woodhams lab describes extraction-free pathogen detection

Protocol for pathogen detection from water bath

In an article published in Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, Dr. Molly Bletz, Brandon LaBumbard and Dr. Emily Le Sage team up with Dr. Woodhams to compare pathogen detection techniques using samples collected by swab or skin wash from the Department of Defense SERDP project focused on leopard frogs.

Bletz MC, LaBumbard BC, Le Sage EH, Woodhams DC. (2021) Extraction-free detection of amphibian pathogens from water baths. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 146: 81–89. doi: 10.3354/dao03621

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Woodhams Lab presents summer 2021 research

Brady Inman receives best talk award at NEPARC, and Rakeyah Ahsan presents research at the meeting for Salamander Models in Cross-Disciplinary Biological Research, and REU student Ednita Tavarez-Jimenez presents, “Commonly traded amphibian is susceptible to the emerging fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salmandrivorans.”

Plos Pathogens publishes collaborative research on infection risk for Eastern newts

Map of infection risk

Invasion risk of Bsal into Eastern newt populations adjusting for temperature-dependent susceptibility.

Dr. Molly Bletz, Brandon LaBumbard, and Dr. Douglas C. Woodhams publish results in Plos Pathogens. Eastern newts are found to be highly susceptible to the emerging fungal pathogen, Bsal. Environmental temperature has a key role in the epidemiology.

Carter ED, Bletz MC, Le Sage M, LaBumbard B, Rollins-Smith LA, Woodhams DC, Miller DL, Gray MJ. (2021) Winter is coming–Temperature affects immune defenses and susceptibility to Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans. PLoS Pathogens 17(2): e1009234. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1009234

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New Review on Sickness Behaviors Across Vertebrate Taxa

Mechanisms of Sickness Behaviors

Physiological mechanisms of sickness behaviors across vertebrate taxa.

Dr. Woodhams contributes to a new review on Sickness Behaviors Across Vertebrate Taxa published in Journal of Experimental Biology.

Lopes PC, French SS, Woodhams DC, Binning SA. (2021) Sickness behaviors across vertebrate taxa: proximate and ultimate mechanisms. Journal of Experimental Biology, 224(9):jeb225847. doi: 10.1242/jeb.225847.

 

 

 

Dr. Tokash-Peters featured in The Scientist

Dr. Amanda Tokash-Peters is a “Scientist to Watch” featured in The Scientist. She continues to work on mosquito microbiome research after graduating from UMass Boston, and is now a professor at Centenary University.

National Science Foundation grants Professor Woodhams the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award

Dr. Woodhams pictured with Northern leopard frog, a focal species for investigating microbiome interactions with host skin defenses

The National Science Foundation has granted Professor Woodhams the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award.  The award will fund five years of research in the Woodhams Lab, focusing on Microbiome Regulation by Amphibian Skin Peptides, and will support a new course, Microbiome and Disease Ecology Lab, focused on authentic research experiences for undergraduates. Congratulations Dr. Woodhams!

NSF Grant Summary | UMass Boston Press Release 

Woodhams’ graduate seminar students publish in Genome Biology on Host-Associated Microbiomes

Path model of internal microbiomes depicting direct and indirect effects of immune complexity in the context of the best biotic and abiotic predictors of microbial phylogenetic diversity.

Genome Biology publishes “Host-associated microbiomes are predicted by immune system complexity and climate”, with more than a dozen students from Dr. Woodhams’ two graduate seminar courses on microbiomes as co-authors. The paper includes combined data from the Earth Microbiome Project as well as 50 additional studies to evaluate global-scale patterns of bacterial diversity and function across 654 host species and 15,000 samples.

Read this Publication | News Article

Woodhams, D.C., Bletz, M.C., Becker, C.G., Bender, A.B.*, Buitrago-Rosas, D.*, Diebboll, H.*, Huynh, R.*, Kearns, P.J., Kueneman, J., Kurosawa, E.*, LaBumbard, B.C.*, Lyons, C.*, McNally, K.*, Schliep, K., Shankar, N.*, Tokash-Peters, A.G.*, Vences, M., Whetstone, R.* Host-associated microbiomes are predicted by immune system complexity and climate. Genome Biol 21, 23 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13059-019-1908-8

Bolded are members of the Woodhams Lab. * Denotes graduate student co-author.

 

Woodhams lab contributes to PLoS Pathogens article on temperature and immune defenses

Invasion risk of Bsal into Eastern newt populations in North America, adjusting for temperature-dependent susceptibility.

In their article, “Winter is coming–Temperature affects immune defenses and susceptibility to Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans,” the Woodhams lab publishes findings with collaborators Matt Gray and Louise Rollins-Smith funded by their collaborative NSF EEID grant.

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Carter ED, Bletz MC, Le Sage M, LaBumbard B, Rollins-Smith LA, Woodhams DC, Miller DL, Gray MJ. 2021. Winter is coming-Temperature affects immune defenses and susceptibility to Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans. PLoS Pathog. Feb 18;17(2):e1009234. 

Fighting a Fungal Scourge – Woodhams lab research highlighted by PNAS press

Probiotic treatments for amphibians at risk of emerging disease is one management approach proposed by the Woodhams lab. This historical overview provides context for novel microbially-based disease management strategies and research frontiers.

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Amy McDermott, Science Writer. Proceedings of the National Academy. Feb. 18, 2019. Fighting a fungal scourge.

Contact

Douglas C. Woodhams, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
UMass Boston | Department of Biology
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, Massachusetts 02125
Phone: 617-287-6679