Member since: October 30, 2011
My love working with crocodilians and fascination of parasites for several years merged into my current graduate project over three years ago. I am a graduate student at UCLA investigating the interaction of crocodilians and their parasites, particularly alligators and their stomach and intestinal parasites. My passion in examining the alligator-parasite affair has brought me to Louisiana for the past three years, where I have been getting down and dirty (literally!) with alligators and their parasites to examine how they interact with one another, as well as how human and environmental alterations are impacting this relationship. My goal for my research is to bring new knowledge on probably one of the oldest host-parasite systems in the world that can provide new perspectives on wildlife and human immune systems and worm diseases, and at the same time illustrate how global disturbances are truly impacting ecosystems from the view of an archaic keystone predator and its significant other- its parasites. Through the #SciFund Challenge I hope to bring my research to a whole new level!