Conservation Art

PhD student, Kayleigh Chalkowski is studying the impacts of invasive species on wildlife and human health using Toxoplasma gondii and feral cats in Hawaii as a study system. She  is also an incredible artist. Check out her work here.

Lemurs and their itchy behavior

Check out our newest paper out in the October issue of Animal Behaviour on the role of lemur personalities on parasitism! We explore how behaviour and hormones (like testosterone and stress hormone-cortisol) can drive the heterogeneity in parasitism that you see in wild populations. We also discuss the role that aggression may play in spreading parasites between conspecifics and hence the impacts that behavior may have not only on an individual lemur’s health, but on the entire population’s health.

We also introduce our mouse lemur personality assay in this paper. They really are as docile as they seem!

Veterinary Research

We are so proud of veterinary student Victoria Crabtree who recently won the Outstanding Student Research Award from the College of Veterinary Medicine for her project examining tenrec ticks in Madagascar!



Jordan presenting at the Ecological Society of America about his field work in collaboration with Association Mitsinjo in Madagascar on how community conservation can be used to improve well-being and human and animal health.



WWF and Mad Dog (MDI)

We are  excited to announce that Dutch World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is investing in protecting Malagasy humans and wildlife by providing funds to MDI to continue our One Health efforts in Madagascar for the next few years!

Six lab members receive awards!!!

It’s been a great week for the DEET lab!

We are incredibly proud to announce that FIVE lab members have received funds to pursue their research projects, and one was recently awarded a prize for her recent poster presentation!

Congratulations to veterinary students Victoria Crabtree and Michon Martin who were both awarded the prestigious Merial Scholarship!

Congratulations to Kirsten Rice, Victoria Ashby, and Cullen Anderson who were awarded Auburn Undergraduate Research Fellowships!

Congratulations to Shelby Zikeli who was recently awarded a prize for her poster presentation at the Research Open House for her presentation titled “A Methods Comparison of Ectoparasite Quantification on White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)”!

Stay tuned for photos and updates from these rockstars!

Girl Scouts learn about Madagascar!

Last week, Dr. Zohdy met with the wonderful young inquiring minds of Girl Scout Troop 7018 and had a wonderful time sharing stories about Madagascar and lemurs. This weekend the troop gave a presentation on Madagascar as part of Thinking Day! Here is a photo of them from the event with their table and some ring-tailed lemur souvenirs!

Research update

 At the CDC this spring, I am working with Anopheles mosquitoes collected from Madagascar examining malaria infections and determining what animals the mosquitoes fed on using blood meal analyses.

The experience so far has been fantastic. Not only have I learned a lot about the lab work I’m performing, but also about the Entomology world and what a career with the CDC actually looks like. Because I work mostly in the ELISA room by myself, I don’t have a lot of interaction with my coworkers but they are great and have been very helpful. I think the highlight of my time here has been the Friday morning coffee and doughnut breaks!

-Micaela Finney