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David R. Daversa

Postdoctoral Research Positions

Research Fellow, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA; 2023-Present

Research topic: Non-lethal effects of climate, disease, and human disturbance on wild animal populations


Lecturer, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, UCLA, USA; 2022-Present

Courses: Ecology, Marine Science


UCLA La Kretz Postdoctoral Fellow, La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA, USA; 2021-2023

Research topic:  Identifying and conserving wild animal populations threatened by disease

Postdoctoral Researcher, National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC), USA, 2016, 2020

Research topic: Trait variation and trophic interactions in larval amphibian assemblages

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, United Kingdom

Research 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


Daversa, DR, J Lloyd-Smith, G Bucciarelli, HB Shaffer, DT Blumstein. The non-lethal effects of climate change and infectious disease on individuals and populations. Authorea. DOI: 10.22541/au.169412033.39491316/v1 (invited submission for Proceedings of the Royal Society B)



Daversa DR, E Baxter, GM Rosa, C Sergeant C, TMJ Garner TWJ. 2024. Standard methods for marking caudate amphibians do not impair animal welfare over the short term: an experimental approach.  Animal Welfare. (in press)

Green, ET, AI Dell, J Crawford, E Biro, DR Daversa. 2024. Trait variation in patchy landscapes: morphology of spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) varies more within ponds than between ponds. PLOS ONE 19(4): p.e0299101.


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.


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.


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. 

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.


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.


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. 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:

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. (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. (Top 50 essay)

Daversa, D.R. Cambridge Zoologists Solve Great Mystery of Woolly Mammoth Extinctions. Varsity. (5 March 2012).

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)

Peer Review

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

Invited Presentations

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:


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)

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