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Video of the Week
Lee Berger Wins Australia's Prize for Life Scientist of the Year

Amphibian News Archive
For her breakthrough research on chytridiomycosis, a disease that affects amphibians and is likely the worst amphibian disease in history, Dr. Lee Berger was awarded Australia’s Prime Minister’s Prize for Science in Fall 2018. A decade ago, Dr. Berger and an interdisciplinary team of scientists discovered the pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, as the cause of mass die-offs of amphibians. The discovery was almost 20 years after global amphibian declines began. Part of the reason it may have taken scientists so long to discover the disease is because the idea that an infectious disease might be responsible for host extinction events seemed unlikely given that disease theory suggests hosts would be expected to evolve resistance or that a disease caused by a hyper-virulent pathogen may fade out when hosts disappear. Dr. Berger’s research not only changed our understanding of the foundations of disease ecology, but also has helped motivate research to discover pathways to mitigate the effects of the disease. She continues her active research on fungal pathogens.

Current number of amphibian species: 7,968 (Jan 21, 2019) Newly added species