Interactive Effects of Environmental Contaminants on Disease in Amphibians

EPA Grant Number: F07P11133
Title: Interactive Effects of Environmental Contaminants on Disease in Amphibians
Investigators: Combs, Amy Marie
Institution: University of Memphis
EPA Project Officer: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: July 10, 2007 through April 10, 2009
Project Amount: $41,500
RFA: GRO Fellowships for Undergraduate Environmental Study (2007) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships


The research goal is to test for interactive effects of environmental contaminants on disease in amphibians. As a vertebrate taxon, amphibians are among the most imperiled in the world, with over 30% of all species currently threatened with the risk of extinction. Infection by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in many severe amphibian population declines. Pollution from agricultural pesticides and herbicides, such as atrazine, also contributes to reduced fitness. Moreover, exposure to atrazine pollution also has been found to disrupt gonadal development in frogs, leading to feminization of male frogs in some instances. Understanding the complexity of declines relies on teasing apart interactions among multiple potential causal factors.


This research will explore how infection and exposure to atrazine pollution alters amphibian life history and behavior.

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Scientific Discipline, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Aquatic Ecosystems & Estuarine Research, Aquatic Ecosystem, Biology, extinction risk, frogs, amphibians, anthropogenic impact, pathogenic fungus, agricultural pesticides, atrazine

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2008
  • Final