May 13, 2021

Happy Spring from the Rollins-Smith Lab!

Apologies for the long overdue update on the latest from the lab.  Somehow time gets away from us and then we turn around to find that spring has sprung here in Nashville!   The trees and flowers have been gorgeous in recent weeks.  The dogwoods, cherry blossoms, redbuds, azaleas, and forsythia were among some of the most stunning blooms we’ve seen in a while.  We are now seeing the irises bloom, and irises are special!  They're the state flower so it’s always neat to see them in all their glory.   This year’s spring has been exceptionally lovely and filled with cool temperatures to enjoy before the summer heat and humidity arrive.


Tennessee State Flower, the Iris (Photo credit: pixers)


Meanwhile….the Rollins-Smith is perking along like a well-oiled coffee machine.   There may be a shortage of gasoline, but there is no shortage of caffeine around here to keep us fueled up and running.  As a result, we have two new publications to share!

Bd Review Paper

This is an excellent review paper written by Dr. Rollins-Smith and our post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Emily Le Sage.  It’s filled with all you could ever want to know about Batrachochytrium fungi and their relationship with their amphibian hosts.

Bsal Publication

This research looks at the susceptibility of Eastern newts to a newly emerging chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal).  This is of great importance because Bsal isn’t currently found in the US.   There are many ongoing efforts to stave off its entry into the country because this pathogen could have a devastating effect on the amphibian population if it enters the ecosystem.  Much of this work was performed by our research assistant Mitchell Le Sage, M.S. 

Congratulations, Mitch and our colleagues at the Univ of TN, Knoxville, on your hard work!


As always, publications are very exciting and we are really thrilled to share this work.  So grab a latte and a muffin and sit back and enjoy some of our latest research.   After all, it’s not like you can drive anywhere, right?

Lastly, we will be joined by a Vanderbilt undergraduate student, Danny Nguyen, this summer.  He will work on our Coqui frog project, so stay tuned for additional updates in the coming weeks/months.  Welcome, Danny!