College of Sciences Distinguished Speaker Series:
On the Brink: Wildlife Disease Epidemics
Anna Savage, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
UCF Department of Biology
Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.
Tuscawilla Country Club
1500 Winter Springs Blvd.,
Winter Springs, FL 32708
Emerging infectious diseases are threatening wildlife populations worldwide, and the genetic, environmental, and evolutionary drivers of disease emergence remain elusive. Cold-blooded animals appear particularly vulnerable to disease outbreaks, and this may be linked to their dependence on environmental temperature for maintaining physiological processes such as immune function.
In this talk, Dr. Savage will describe some of the ecological and evolutionary drivers of disease in frogs and sea turtles, including experimental and field-based analyses. Using genetic and genomic characterization of host and pathogen populations in an ecological context, she will highlight the immune processes that are contributing to disease emergence and persistence, emphasizing similarities and differences across diverse host species.
Anna Savage, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of biology at UCF. She earned her doctorate in evolutionary biology from Cornell University in 2012. Prior to UCF, she was a molecular evolution postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution. Her research aims to understand the evolutionary potential of natural populations to adapt to changing environments, the diversity of heritable genomic features that can lead to these adaptations, and the relationship between phenotype and genotype when adaptations occur.
She is motivated to pursue unanswered evolutionary questions and is broadly interested in research questions situated at the interface of disease ecology, population genetics, immunology, genomics and conservation biology.