Big Picture: Frost, Frogs, and Fungus
The glaciers of Peru's Cordillera Vilcanota mountain range are rapidly shrinking, causing significant changes to the landscape and its ecosystems. These changes affect biodiversity, as species faced with shifting conditions must move, adapt, or die. Emma Steigerwald, a PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, studies how marbled four-eyed frogs, warty toads, and marbled water frogs in the Cordillera Vilcanota are responding to climate change. In addition to analyzing the impact of the chytrid fungal pathogen on these amphibian populations, her team assesses how introduced North American rainbow trout affect assemblages of native amphibians and other aquatic invertebrates. Shown here, field technician Anton Sorokin filters environmental DNA out of the water at a research site more than three miles above sea level.