Henry Adams is a second-year graduate student at the University of Georgia (UGA), studying wildlife disease ecology under the tutelage of Dr. Sonia Hernandez. In 2015 he earned his Bachelor of Science in Ecology from UGA where he graduated “With Honors” and Summa Cum Laude. A lifelong wildlife enthusiast, Henry spent the vast majority of his youth, studying, observing, and drawing animals, especially herpetofauna and avifauna. Becoming a professional ecologist and conservationist has always been an ultimate goal of Henry’s and to be developing a project that directly contributes to the conservation of amphibians on a global scale is a dream come true. He first started developing this project in 2016 with his mentor of four years, Dr. Sonia Hernandez. At the time, Henry expressed interest in conducting graduate research with Dr. Hernandez and together they began brainstorming research topics. The two were keen to develop a project in Costa Rica on account of their shared interest and experience with the country’s fauna and ecosystems. After meeting Drs. Matt Gray and Deb Miller at the 2016 Wildlife Disease Association conference and learning about their extensive work on amphibian pathogens, including Bsal, Henry was inspired to develop similar research with Costa Rican amphibian communities. With enormous support from his mentors during the application process, Henry was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship on his proposed work with Bsal in Costa Rica. The fellowship has been instrumental in funding exploratory and networking trips to Costa Rica, but it only partially funds the entirety of the research. Henry hopes that with the assistance of his Experiment backers he can complete a discrete portion of his larger research project that will both immediately inform conservation planning for salamanders in Costa Rica as well as produce concrete data that will encourage other funding agencies to support his work.
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