Dr. David Blehert is the Branch Chief of the Wildlife Disease Diagnostic Laboratories with the U.S. Geological Survey, and a world expert on White Nose Syndrome (WNS).  WNS is a fungal disease that is decimating American bat populations.  The fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, infects hibernating bats and disrupts their hibernation, leading to high levels of mortality, close to 100% in some caves.  Dr. Blehert is working to study this fungus and come up with treatments and cures for American bat populations before it is too late.  He is joined by Jonah Evans, who with Texas Parks and Wildlife is surveying Texas bat populations for the arrival of WNS.  Dr. Blehert and Jonah discuss how this fungus kills bats, ideas on how to save our bat populations, and how their love of animals and nature drove them into their careers. The MicroCase for listeners to solve is about Fabienne Coolidge, a soft-hearted animal lover who gets an infection from her stray cat, Luke Skywhisker.

 

Participants:

Karl Klose, Ph.D. (UTSA)

David Blehert, Ph.D. (USGS)

Jonah Evans, M.S. (Texas Parks & Wildlife)

Jesus Romo (UTSA)


Dr. Dan Riskin is the host of the Animal Planet show about parasitic infections, Monsters Inside Me, and he also hosts a nightly science show broadcast in Canada, The Daily Planet.  Dr. Riskin studied vampire bats while earning his Ph.D., and to this day is still bat crazy. His career promoting science for general audiences and his entertaining and enthusiastic personality have led him to be a guest on various late night talk shows, and he is the author of the book “Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You”.  Dr. Riskin discusses various topics ranging from his bot fly infection, to the thrill of watching bats emerge from a cave, and touching on how to communicate science to a general audience, will make you want to keep listening!  The MicroCase for listeners to solve is about SouthEast Carwashian, a celebrity who gets a mysterious disease while spending time in a remote village filming an episode for her reality TV show.

 

Participants:

Karl Klose, Ph.D. (UTSA)

Dan Riskin, Ph.D.

Jesus Romo (UTSA)

Robert Richardson (Alamo Heights High School)

Dr. Dan Riskin is the host of the Animal Planet show about parasitic infections, Monsters Inside Me, and he also hosts a nightly science show broadcast in Canada, The Daily Planet.  Dr. Riskin studied vampire bats while earning his Ph.D., and to this day is still bat crazy. His career promoting science for general audiences and his entertaining and enthusiastic personality have led him to be a guest on various late night talk shows, and he is the author of the book “Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You”.

Dr. Riskin joined this podcast remotely from his home in Canada, and therefore the audio quality is a little scratchy.  However, his discussion of topics ranging from his bot fly infection to bats that share their armpit sweat (and other things), and touching on the need to stimulate interest in science, will make you want to keep listening!

Discussants (in alphabetical order):
Dr. Karl Klose (Professor and director of STCEID, UTSA)
Dr. Janakiram Seshu (Associate professor, STCEID,  UTSA)
Dr. Floyd Wormley (Professor, STCEID, UTSA)