About This Project
The origin and evolution of Ebola virus (EBOV) and relatives in the family Filoviridae remain a great scientific mystery. Fragments of virus from Filoviridae have been found in bats in Europe, Africa, and Asia. To our knowledge, no one has ever examined North American bats for evidence of infection. This project will test bat blood samples for antibodies to EBOV to determine if the virus circulates in North American bats, and will further our knowledge on this group of viruses.
We plan on collecting around 200 blood samples from bats caught in Southern Arizona and testing them for presence of antibodies to EBOV. Costs include equipment for collecting blood, for driving to field sites, and for doing the lab work. Currently we have some equipment for catching bats, therefore we are only asking for money for a few more nets to increase capture rates of bats.
Meet the Team
Brendan and Hans have been collaborating on a variety of bat related projects in Southern Arizona over the past year. They participate in public outreach and in events directed towards undergraduates at the University of Arizona for increasing the knowledge and wonder of bats.
Brendan is currently a 3rd year PhD student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. He has been studying the evolution of viruses for the past 7 years and is a co-author on 9 publications, including ones in the journals of Nature and Science. He received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in his first year of graduate school.
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