Samantha Fontaine | PhD Student


I joined the Richards-Zawacki lab in the fall of 2017 as a first year PhD student. My primary research interests include amphibian conservation and disease ecology. I am especially interested in studying the effects of environmental factors and human impacts on amphibian diseases, specifically chytrid fungus. I intend to research how climate and climate change may affect the dynamics of chytridiomycosis in amphibians, and how environmental change may alter the immune defenses of hosts and contribute to susceptibility differences among species. My ultimate goal is to contribute research that can be used to inform the management and conservation of endangered species as we move forward in a changing environment.

Prior to joining the lab, I received my bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Oneonta where I completed independent studies focused on the disease ecology of amphibians and turtles in New York State. After graduation, I have worked as a field assistant on multiple research projects including aiding in the conservation effort of the endangered Wyoming toad and Kemp’s ridley sea turtle.