Colonisation of gut microbiomes during early life can shape metabolism and immunity of adult animals. However, most data are derived from antibiotic‐treated or germ‐free laboratory mammals. Furthermore, few studies have explored how microbial colonization during critical windows influences a suite of other fitness‐related traits in wild animals. A recent study in the Journal of Animal Ecologytested whether hatching constitutes a critical development window for microbiome … Continue reading Manipulation of gut microbiota during critical developmental windows affect host physiological performance and disease susceptibility across ontogeny
Today marks Endangered Species Day, when people around the world are encouraged to discover more about threatened species and their habitats. For conservation efforts to succeed, it is necessary to understand how animals interact with each other, with their environment – and with humans. Lauren White (University of Minnesota) addresses this by studying the idea of One Health – the intersection of human, animal, and … Continue reading The intersection of wildlife conservation, disease, and human health
Dr. Sarah Knutie led a study to explore whether a commonly-used herbicide affects the gut microbes of frogs and if the gut microbes could mediate the effect of the herbicide on infection risk by the amphibian chytrid fungus. She conducted the work as a Post-doctoral Researcher at the University of South Florida and is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut. Here, she … Continue reading Frogs and Herbicides: A Gut Feeling
Animals move around. A lot. Migratory animals are widely assumed to play an important role in the long-distance dispersal of parasites and pathogens. But how does this affect the migratory animals themselves? PhD student Alice Risely, Deakin University, explains how infections might alter animal migration. Migratory animals spread pathogens. But how frequently? And how far? Is it super common for migratory birds to spread pathogens … Continue reading How does infection alter animal migration performance? It’s complicated.
According to new research published in the Journal of Animal Ecology, physical contact may be good for your health. Well, at least if you’re a lemur. Scientists have found a direct link between physical contact and gut bacteria in red-bellied lemurs (Eulemur rubriventer). The study aim was to better understand causes of diversity within the animal’s gut microbiome. These communities of belly bacteria play a key … Continue reading Dodgy gut? Have a lemur cuddle!