Graduate Student Researcher
Alyssa Wetterau is a graduate student of Zoology and Wildlife Conservation in the Cornell-Smithsonian Joint Graduate Training Program. She began working with wildlife as an undergraduate student in 2012, advised by Elizabeth Bunting and Krysten Schuler. Her research focused on a fungal pathogen in threatened eastern hellbender salamanders, which got her hooked on amphibian conservation!
Alyssa is pursuing her doctoral training under the guidance of Matthew Hare of the Cornell University Department of Natural Resources and Brian Gratwicke of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. She is interested in the impacts of infectious disease on amphibian populations and the implications of disease for the conservation of threatened and endangered species. Her research focuses on the development and application of genetic and non-model genomic approaches as tools for amphibian conservation. Specifically, she is using environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques to study the dynamics of ranavirus in amphibian breeding pools and employing genomic methods to explore mechanisms of host immunity to chytridiomycosis in the threatened eastern hellbender salamander and critically endangered Panamanian golden frog.