Archive for the News Category

New paper accepted in Molecular Ecology

Phylogenetic Tree of Amphibian Skin Bacteria

Phylogenetic Tree of Amphibian Skin Bacteria

Becker et al. characterized over 450 bacterial isolates from the skins of Panamanian amphibian species and tested them for antifungal function. Antifungal isolates were widely distributed among all bacterial phyla, with high proportions in three genera: Stenotrophomonas, Aeromonas, and Pseudomonas.

Becker M, Walke J, Murrill L, Woodhams DC, Reinert L, Rollins-Smith L, Burzynski E, Umile T, Minbiole K, Belden L. (2015) Microbiol Phylogenetic distribution of symbiotic bacteria from Panamanian amphibians that inhibit growth of the lethal fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Molecular Ecology


New paper online at EcoHealth

Field Sites in Ecuador

Field Sites in Ecuador

A student from Ecuador, Jorge Bresciano, published his research on bacteria from tadpoles and adult frogs across field sites ranging from Amazonian rainforest to Andes montane rainforest. He discovered Janthinobacterium lividum among other bacteria thought to reduce susceptibility to the emerging disease chytridiomycosis.

Bresciano JC, Salvador CA, Paz-Y-Miño C, Parody-Merino AM, Bosch J, Woodhams DC. (2015) Variation in the presence of anti-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis bacteria of amphibians across life stages and elevations in Ecuador. EcoHealth


Woodhams Lab moves to the New Integrative Science Complex at UMass Boston

Integrated Sciences Building

The new Integrated Sciences Building at UMass Boston

The Woodhams Lab now has a state-of-the-art research space in the new Integrative Science Complex at UMass Boston.  This new building provides 220,000 gross square feet of space featuring: research lab and support space for biology, chemistry, environmental sciences, physics, and psychology; undergraduate introductory biology teaching laboratories; an interdisciplinary undergraduate sandbox teaching lab, an infant cognition lab; and a new research center—the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy.  This $182 million dollar project was funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the UMass Building Authority, and Mass Development.

Dr. Woodhams quoted in The New York Times

The New York TimesInterviewed for his professional perspective, Dr. Woodhams is quoted in The New York Times piece, Hope for Frogs in Face of a Deadly Fungus.  The article highlights recent discoveries that amphibians are able to acquire immunity to B. dendrobatidis.  This may lead to effective vaccination strategies against the disease, responsible for threatening amphibian populations worldwide.

News media highlights Woodhams research discovery

MucosomeDr. Woodhams et al. have discovered that the skin mucosome, or combined host and microbial defenses found in the mucus, can defend amphibians, and can be measured to predict disease susceptibility.  The study, funded by a Swiss National Science Foundation grant to Dr. Woodhams, received media attention:


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