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Emerging Infectious Diseases & Amphibian Biodiversity

Dr. Karen Lips, a University of Maryland biologist discusses the underlying causes of global amphibian declines and extinctions.

Lips was one of the first researchers to sound the alarm on massive frog die-offs in Panama and Costa Rica as a result of chytrid fungus. At her study site in Western Panama in 1993, the fungus was pervasive. "We'd see frogs that looked healthy. But when we picked them up, they would jump once, and then die right on the ground."

She has since become one of the world's leading experts in amphibian diseases, leading collaborative efforts to track and understand what we can expect as new pathogens emerge and spread. Her ultimate goal: conserving frogs and salamanders.


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