I’m a M.Sc. student pursuing a degree in biology at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus. The purpose of my thesis research is to evaluate the status of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in three endemic amphibian species, Eleutherodactylus wightmanae, Eleutherodactylus coqui and Leptodactylus albilabris, which differ in conservation status, ecology and life history, in three highland forests across the island of Puerto Rico. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a pathogenic chytrid fungus which causes Chytridiomycosis, a lethal infectious disease which is responsible for the extinction of many amphibians worldwide. In Puerto Rico three species of Eleutherodactylus disappeared potentially due to this pathogen, and many others are at risk. A synergistic effect between Bd and climate was shown for two species at El Yunque, but this relationship has not been tested in other species or forests. The results of this study will enhance our understanding of the mechanisms of Bd under enzootic conditions.
I am currently working in the laboratory of Jose C. Verle Rodrigues, on the project to study the coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei), an insect pest of the coffee.