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2023 Grant Recipient

Jenna Palmisano, PhD Candidate

Threat characterization of an invasive lung parasite, Raillietiella orientalis, and a long-standing fungal pathogen, Ophidiomyces ophidiicola, to pygmy rattlesnake populations in Florida

Jenna Palmisano is a PhD student with the Savage Lab at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Through contact and collaboration, she has formed a "task force" of various partners across the southeast aiming to test and detect for snake diseases, in particular the invasive pentastome lungworm Raillietiella orientalis ("Ro").

Jenna's work is aimed towards the goal of estimating the risk these parasites pose to our native snake species, focusing primarily on the small-bodied Pygmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius). She plans to assess the factors influencing both Ro and Snake Fungal Disease (SFD) at multiple levels of health, including molecular, organismal and population. 


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