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Sky Stevens 

Advisor: Tracy Rittenhouse

My research interests are broadly in the area of disease ecology and epidemiology. I am interested in how landscape and anthropogenic factors affect disease transmission. I have wanted to study wildlife diseases since I was 11, when my veterinarian father let me read a book about the first Ebola outbreak. Even at that age I was interested in the role wildlife played in disease outbreaks.

 

I pursued a bachelor’s degree in biology and then a master’s degree in wildlife biology. For my master’s research I studied carnivore distribution and habitat selection in Big Bend National Park, Texas. I used remote activated game cameras to survey an area of 450km2 to identify the habitat chosen by each carnivore species, and how the different species overlapped. What I learned about the carnivore community dynamics increased my interest in disease ecology, and how pathogens pass between individuals and communities.

 

For my Ph.D. research at UConn I am researching Ranavirus in wood frogs, with the goal of identifying how environmental factors and other mechanisms affect epidemic outcomes.

                                     

Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Center
Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
University of Connecticut
1376 Storrs Road, Unit 4087