We designed a microbiology project that fully engaged undergraduate biology students, high school students, and their teachers in a summer research program as part of the Research Education Vitalizing Science University Program conducted at California State University Bakersfield. Modern molecular biological methods and microscopy were used to detect and identify microcrustacean species in ponds around Bakersfield, California, that harbor the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). The students learned about the amphibian decline in California and worldwide due to chytridiomycosis and how microcrustaceans as natural predators of Bd-zoospores can be used in mitigation strategies for amphibian conservation.
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Vol. 74 • No. 8