Gordon State College Associate Professor Recognized in Scholarly Journal

By: Brittany A. Tennant, Communications Specialist

The Herpetological Journal published a research article on infectious disease in amphibians this month written by Gordon State College Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Amanda Duffus. According to Duffus emerging infectious diseases threaten the global community of both reptiles and amphibians.Dr. Duffus

In 2010, a summary on the major threats to European amphibians was authored by Duffus and Andrew Cunningham, also published in The Herpetological Journal. Almost a decade later, the professors have revisited this topic to cover the vast amount of research that has been published since the initial article and include reptiles. Since 2010, two major new infectious diseases have emerged, one being the salamander chytrid Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) and the other snake fungal disease Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola.

“Dr. Amanda Duffus has been working on Ranavirus and related amphibian viruses since 2004, and is an expert in this area, with more than 20 publications of peer-reviewed research,” said Dr. Lynn Rumfelt, professor of Biology and program coordinator for the Department of Natural Sciences. “Her research is employed in teaching a special topics course to our Biology majors.

“She has promoted undergraduate research through her work in this area with more than 15
undergraduate students. These works have culminated in presentations at conferences such as our
annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, the Georgia Academy of Sciences, and at the International
Symposia on Ranaviruses. She is a great asset to our students, department and college.”

Duffus said, “We’ve spent hours sifting through the literature to provide the most complete and most
up-to-date synopsis of emerging infectious diseases including the countries they occur in and which
hosts they have been found to infect.”

Since Duffus last findings, more portals have become available which allow researchers to upload their
findings. The findings are available to read at thebhs.org. Duffus also represents GSC in a video about
the “Salamander Capital of the World” online at blueridgeoutdoors.com.