Dr. Richards-Zawacki is giving an encore performance of her recent talk, “A Fungus Among Us,” as part of the Biophilia Speaker Series at Phipps Conservatory. The text below is taken from the Biophilia announcement. The lecture is free and open to the public.
“Dr. Cori Richards-Zawacki of the University of Pittsburgh discusses what frogs and their fight against chytridiomycosis can teach us about ecology, evolution and climate change. Amphibians are arguably the most threatened group of vertebrates on Earth. Many of the threats amphibians face — such as habitat loss and degredation and introduced species — affect other animal groups as well. However, the magnitude of threat that disease poses to amphibians is unique. The fungal disease chytridiomycosis threatens hundreds of amphibian species worldwide and has even caused species extinctions. Dr. Richards-Zawacki’s lab at the University of Pittsburgh conducts research that aims to understand the ecology of this host-pathogen interaction and what can be done to promote the welfare of at-risk amphibian populations. Discover how collaborations with artists, educators and the public have helped Dr. Richards-Zawacki and her colleagues communicate their science to a broad audience and develop new research tools for amphibian conservation.
Meet the Speaker
Dr. Cori Richards-Zawacki is an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and the Director of the Pymatuning Lab of Ecology, Pitt’s biological field station in northwest Pennsylvania. Her research interests are broad, including many aspects of the ecology, evolution and conservation of amphibians (and occasionally other taxa). She grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan. She has held positions at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama; The University of California, Berkeley; and Tulane University. When not “sciencing,” she can be found enjoying Pittsburgh’s many parks, museums and neighborhood events with her husband and two girls.”