Sunday Science Explores How Microbiome Science May Help the Endangered Boreal Toad
The Science of microbial communities is the focus of the next Central Colorado Humanist Science Sunday program Nov. 3 at the Salida Scout Hut, 210 E. Sackett St., beginning at 10 a.m. Tim Korpita, a Ph.D. candidate in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Colorado Boulder, will explore the work he has done with the endangered Borea Toad, the majority of this work taking place in the drainages in west Chaffee County. Korpita studies how microbial communities interact with the hosts in a variety of systems, with the goal of developing conservation tools that incorporate advances in microbial science. Boreal Toads are a high elevation amphibian species that were formerly common across the mountains of Colorado. The last few decades have seen a precipitous decline in Boreal Toad populations all over the southern Rocky Mountains, mainly due to a recently-emerged fungal pathogen. The McKenzie Lab at CU Boulder has been developing a probiotic treatment that uses naturally occurring skin bacteria to help the toads to fight off the pathogen. The last few years have seen field trials of these treatments on toad populations in Chaffee County. This presentation will touch on the pathogen and its impact on our Boreal Toads, the science behind probiotic treatments and what we have learned from the recent field trials, and the future of toads in Colorado. Central Colorado Humanists sponsor Sunday Science presentations on the first Sunday of each month. Each presentation is informative and features a science topic understandable by both scientists and non-scientists. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and the program will start promptly at 10 a.m. A discussion and light refreshments will follow the talk.
Admission is free and the public is welcome. For more information, visit centralcoloradohumanists.org.