Dara is a Ph.D. Student in the Odum School of Ecology working with Dr. Maerz and Dr. Sonia Altizer. Dara is interested in how human impacts on the environments affect wildife diseases through disease evolution. Though she shares a passion for amphibians and has been exploring amphibian disease evolution, Dara's dissertation research focuses on the role of parasite evolution on monarch butterfly migrations. In particular, she is examining whether the introduction of nonnative plants, which is allowing historic migratory populations to remain on temperate breeding grounds, is driving increased parasite virulence. Dara was an innaugural member of UGA's Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Ph.D. program, and her work in funded through a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant.
FUN FACT: Dara is cutthroat. Don't let the disposition fool you!