Congratulations to Korin Jones for his 1st place poster earlier this month at Virginia Tech’s Biological Sciences Reseach Day. The topic of his poster was an experiment conducted to determine the initial impact of the fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), on the skin microbiome of spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer). Frogs were collected, exposed to Bd and then kept in the lab. His group found that the skin microbiome changed significantly with time spent in the lab, but not due to initial exposure to Bd.  They noticed that both species richness and the phylogenetic diversity of species present declined over time. Korin noted that “what was most interesting is that identity of the bacteria present within the microbiome homogenized over time, while the relative abundances of those bacteria became more varied. Who was there became very similar, but their proportions differed from frog to frog.”

Korin explained that overall, this experiment supports the idea that the environment is an important factor in microbiome composition. It also suggests that the proportions of microbes capable of persisting on frog skin within a laboratory environment might be determined by interspecific interactions.

Check out his award-winning poster here!