David R. Daversa
Postdoctoral Research Positions
La Kretz Postdoctoral Fellow, La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science, Institute for the Environment and Sustainability, University of California, Los Angeles, USA; 2021-Present
Research topic: Identifying and conserving wild animal populations threatened by disease, climate change, and human disturbance
Postdoctoral Researcher, National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC), East Alton, Illinois, 62024, USA, 2016, 2019 - 2020
Topic: Intraspecific trait variation and predator-prey interactions in constructed wetlands
Postdoctoral Researcher, Institute for Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom, 2016 – 2019; Joint position with the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London (ZSL), London, UK.
Topic: The effects of host species composition and co-infection on multi-host parasite transmission
PhD, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, Oct. 2016
Joint position with the Institute of Zoology, ZSL
Dissertation Title: Movement and parasitism in fragmented habitats.
Bachelor of Science, Forestry, Summa Cum Laude with honors, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, Virginia, May 2006
Grants & Fellowships
Wild Animal Initiative Research Fellowship, 2023 ($253, 500)
Morris Animal Foundation Training Fellowship, 2023 ($135,000)
Wild Animal Initiative Research Grant, 2023 ($30,000)
La Kretz Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2020 ($120,000 + research expenses)
Research Coordination Network workshop scholarship, 2019 ($1200)
Natural Environment Research Council Standard Grant, 2016 (£635,949)
Cambridge Trusts PhD Extension Grant, 2014 (£12,000)
Finalist, TED fellowship, 2013
St. Johns College Travel Grant, 2013 (£500)
Balfour Trust Fund Award (£9,270)
St. John’s College Research and Learning Fund, 2011 (£500)
Cambridge International Scholarship, 2011 (£32,625 + 3-year tuition fees)
U.S. National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2011 ($75,000 + 3-year tuition fees)
Fulbright Scholarship, 2009 ($14,000)
William August Stuermann Scholarship, 2004 ($12,000)
National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates, 2005 ($5,000)
Outstanding Global Health Mentor Award, School of Public Health, Washington University of St. Louis, 2020
David W. Smith Award for Outstanding Service, 2006, College of Natural Resources, Virginia Tech
Gold Key National Honors Society, 2003 - present
Green, ET, AI Dell, J Crawford, E Biro, DR Daversa. 2023. Spatial context of trait variation: morphology of spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) varies more within ponds than between ponds. bioRxiv. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.15.153312
Daversa, DR., Bosch, J., Manica, A., Garner, T. W., & Fenton, A. 2022. Host identity matters–up to a point: the community context of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis transmission. The American Naturalist. https://doi.org/10.1086/720638
Daversa, DR, R Hechinger, A Fenton, E Madin, J Rohr, A Dell, V Rudolph, K Lafferty. 2021. Broadening the ecology of fear: non-lethal effects arise from diverse responses to predation and parasitism. Proceedings of the Royal Society: B 288: 20202966. http://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.2966
Daversa, DR, AM Manica, H Bintanel Cenis, P Lopez, TWJ Garner, J Bosch. 2021. Alpine newts (Ichthyosaura alpestris) avoid habitats previously used by parasite-exposed conspecifics. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 9: 636099. http://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2021.636099
Farthing, H, J Jiang, AJ Henwood, A Fenton, MC Fisher, DR Daversa, TWJ Garner, DJS Montagnes. 2021. Microbial grazers may aid in controlling infections caused by aquatic zoosporic fungi. Frontiers in Microbiology 11: 592286. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.02.03.931857
Greischar, Megan, H. Alexander, F. Bashey, A. Bento, A. Bhattacharya, M. Bushman, L. Childs, D. R. Daversa, T. et al. 2020. Evolutionary consequences of feedbacks between within-host competition and disease control. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health 01: 30-34.
Cooke, J., Y. Araya, K. Bacon, J. Bagniewska, L. Batty, T. Bishop, M. Burns, C. Moya, M. Charalambous, D. R. Daversa, et al. 2019. Teaching and learning in ecology: a horizon scan of emerging challenges and solutions. Oikos 00: 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1111/oik.07847
Canessa, S, A. Spitzen-van der Sluijs, T. Stark, P. Bishop, M. Bletz, C. Briggs, D.R. Daversa, M. Gray, R.A. Griffiths, R.N. Harris, X.A Harrison, J. T. Hoverman, P. Jervis, E.L. Muths, D.H. Olsen, C.L. Richards-Zawack, J. Robert, G.M. Rosa, B.C. Scheele, B.R. Schmidt, T.W.J. Garner. 2019. Conservation decisions under pressure: Lessons from an exercise in rapid response to wildlife disease. Conservation Science and Practice. 2019;e141. https://doi.org/10.1111/ csp2.141
Pauwels, O., P. Carlino, L. Chirio, D.R. Daversa, J. Lips, R. Oslisly and O. Testa. 2019. Amphibians and reptiles found in caves in Gabon, western Equatorial Africa. Cave and Karst Science 46 (1): 3-12.2018
Daversa, D.R., A. Manica, J. Bosch, T.W.J. Garner. 2018. Routine habitat switching alters the likelihood and persistence of infection with a pathogenic parasite. Functional Ecology. 32:1262–1270. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.13038
Daversa, D.R., C. Monsalve-Carcaño, LM Carrascal, J Bosch. 2018. Seasonal migrations, body temperature fluctuations, and infection dynamics in adult amphibians. PeerJ 6:e4698; DOI 10.7717/peerj.46982017
Daversa, D.R., A. Fenton, T.W.J. Garner, A. Dell, A. Manica. 2017. Infections on the move: How transient phases of host movement influence disease spread. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 284: 20171807. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2017.18072006-2012
2006 - 2012
Daversa, D.R., E. Muths and J. Bosch. 2012. Terrestrial movement patterns of the Common Toad (Bufo bufo) in Central Spain reveal habitat of conservation importance. Journal of Herpetology 46: 658-664.
Daversa, D.R, J. Bosch and K. Jeffrey. 2011. First survey of the disease-causing fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in amphibian populations of Gabon, Africa. Herpetology Review 42 (1): 67-69.
Daversa, D.R. 2006. Agroforestry systems in northern China. China Environment Series 8: 130-152.
Distinguished Science Essays
I strive to communicate science to more general audiences. The following essays were written for non-experts, were published, and received distinctions for their quality.
Daversa, D.R. 2013. How heels help people walk. Access to Understanding. Europe Pubmed Central. http://europepmc.org/docs/A2U_programme_web_2013.pdf (finalist)
Daversa, D.R. 2012. The future of science. In NextGen voices. Science 335 (6064): 36 – 38. (Top 10 essay)
Daversa, D.R. 2012. The definition of a successful scientist. In NextGen voices. Science 336 (6077): 32-34.
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/336/6077/32/suppl/DC1 (Top 50 essay)
Daversa, D.R. Cambridge Zoologists Solve Great Mystery of Woolly Mammoth Extinctions. Varsity. (5 March 2012). http://www.varsity.co.uk/news/4561
Teaching and Mentoring
2023 – Instructor of record, Marine Biology Lab (EEB109L), Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA
Organizer, Wildlife Health Seminar, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA
2022 – Instructor of record, Ecology (EEB 122, 120 students), Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA
Advisor, Senior Practicum in Environmental Science, UCLA
Guest Lecturer, Disease Ecology undergraduate/graduate Seminar, UCLA
Volunteer, R programming bootcamp, UCLA
2015 – Behavioral Ecology upper division undergraduate course, University of Cambridge
Ecology undergraduate course, University of Cambridge
2014 – Animal Behavior undergraduate course, University of Cambridge
Population Biology upper division undergraduate course, University of Cambridge
2008 – Excel for Beginners training course, 2008, National Federal Emergency Management Agency
2021 - Primary Supervisor, summer undergraduate intern, US National Park Service
Research topic: Disease and body temperature variation in endangered Yosemite toads (Anaxyrus canorus)
2020 - Global Health PhD and postdoc mentor (4 mentees), Washington University of St. Louis School of Public Health
(recipient of the Outstanding Global Health Mentor award)
2017 - Co-supervisor, PhD student, University of Liverpool
2019 Research topic: within-host infection dynamics for co-infecting pathogens
Co-supervisor, Master’s and undergraduate research, University of Liverpool
Research topic: Thermal performance of infective stages of fungal parasites
Co-supervisor, Wild animal Biology Master’s student, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London
Research topic: the effects of tagging methods on amphibian behaviour and welfare
Invited participant, working group on teaching in ecology, British Ecological Society
2016 - Primary supervisor, summer undergraduate intern, National Great Rivers Research and Education Center
Research topic: Morphological and behavioural variation in spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum)
(intern is now a Ecology PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Co-Organizer, Thematic Session at 2021 British Ecological Society Annual Meeting, Liverpool, UK
Session title: What determines host species roles in multi-host disease dynamics?
Wiley Science advisor, 2012 – 2015
Served on panels and working groups for publishing ethics, policy, and development
Science Education Assistant, SEEDS, Blacksburg, Va, 2004 - 2006
Taught grade school students field biology principles with the non-profit Seek Education Explore DiScover (SEEDS)
Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Biological Reviews, Ecological Applications, Journal of Animal Ecology, Functional Ecology, Biology Letters, Scientific Reports, Parasitological Research, Diseases of Aquatic Organisms
Reviewed for a chapter of the 2019 book Wildlife Disease Ecology: Linking Theory to Data and Applications
Other Professional Experience
These professional experiences instilled leadership skills, expanded my appreciation of cultural diversity, and equipped me to coordinate large projects that integrate science, conservation, and public policy.
Research Associate, University of California, Berkeley, June –2007, 2010
Topics: Field tests of probiotic treatments of diseased amphibians in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park;
Understanding density-dependence of disease outbreaks in alpine amphibian assemblages in the Sierra Nevada
Research Associate, Estacion Biologica de Doñana, Seville, Spain, 2010
Topic: Dispersal dynamics of the Pygmy Newt (Tritorus pygmaeus) in Doñana National Park, southern Spain
Research Associate, Station d’Etudes des Gorilles et Chimpanzés/Wilderness Conservation Society, Gabon, 2008
Topics: Primate monitoring and conservation in Lope National Park; Disease surveillance in amphibians of Gabon
Research Associate, Briggs lab, University of California, Berkeley, 2007
Topic: The impacts of Sudden Oak Death on Lyme Disease (LD) risk in Northern California
GIS Specialist, United States Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2006 –2011
Topic: Using geospatial analyses to measure the economic and environmental impacts of natural disasters
Project Manager, Peacework, 2006 –2011
Topic: Developing service-based partnerships between US universities and businesses with communities in Belize, Honduras, South Africa, and the Dominican Republic
Research Associate, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, 2006
Topics: Invasive plant management in the Southern Rocky Mountains; long-term demography of small mammals
Understanding Organismal Biology to Manage Threats to Biodiversity. California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA, May 2023.
Disease and Stress Ecology Through the Lens of Organismal Biology. Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA, March 2023.
Down with Disease: Managing Pathogen Threats in Yosemite Toad (Anaxyrus canorus) Populations. Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory, Mammoth Lakes, California, USA. May 2022. (virtual) YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBYnV_o3xZU
Movement Ecology can Improve Animal Health, Welfare, and Conservation, Bristol Veterinary School, University of Bristol, United Kingdom, September, 2021 (virtual)
Movement Ecology Provides Solutions for Mitigating Disease Spread. La Kretz Center Seminar, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, University of California, Los Angeles, March, 2020.
How movement ecology can improve predictions for disease spread. Disease Ecology Seminar, Dept. of Zoology, University of Oxford, October 2019.
Factoring Amphibian Behaviour and Habitat Structure into Chytrid Mitigation Strategies. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Scientific Meeting 2018, Bournemouth, United Kingdom, Dec 2018.
Moving Forward With Spatial Disease Models. CEID seminar, University of Georgia, August 2018
The Non-Lethal Consequences of Parasitism versus Predation. Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, August 2018.
Linking Individual Trait Variation to Trophic Ecology. NGRREC Seminar. East Alton, IL. Sept. 2016.
Movement and Parasitism in Fragmented Habitats. Ecology and Evolution Seminar, Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, USA. March 2016.
Contributed Presentations and Posters
Species Contributions to Transmission in Multi-host Communities. Jacques Monod Conference: Open Questions in Disease Ecology and Evolution: from Basic Research to Evolutionary Medicine.Roscoff, France. October 2017. (poster)
The Role of Habitat Heterogeneity and Host Behaviour in Infection Dynamics. Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases, Santa Barbara, California, June 2017. (talk)
High Throughput Automated Imaging System for Quantifying Behaviour and Trophic Interactions. Gordon Research Conference: Predator-Prey Interactions, Ventura California, June 2017. (poster)
Exposure Frequency and Habitat Alter Infection Dynamics. British Ecological Society Joint Meeting, Lille France. Dec. 2014. (talk)
Disease spread in amphibian metacommunities. Student Conference, ZSL. Feb. 2014 (Runner-up for best talk)