Morris awards grants for wildlife, equine research

Published on
information-circle This article is more than 3 years old

Morris Animal Foundation announced in late September that it has awarded $850,000 in support of wildlife research through grants to 15 studies and $30,000 in grants to fund three pilot studies in horse health with a focus on equine parasites and equine metabolic syndrome.

Tasmanian devil
Hannah V. Siddle, PhD, of the University of Southampton in Southampton, England, was one of the wildlife researchers who received a grant from the Morris Animal Foundation. Her study, "Preventing the widespread transmission of a newly emerged contagious cancer in a vulnerable species, the Tasmanian devil," received $127,999.

The wildlife studies are as follows:

  • "Identifying causes and potential remedies for spindly leg syndrome in captive amphibians," Brian Gratwicke, PhD, Smithsonian Institution, $46,329.
  • "Understanding genetic causes of decreased sperm quality (teratospermia) in the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) using genomic tools," Klaus-Peter Koepfli, PhD, Smithsonian Institution, $88,504.
  • "Development of reptarenavirus reverse genetics techniques," Luis Martinez-Sobrido, PhD, University of Rochester, $108,000.
  • "Northeast regional meta-analysis of lead toxicosis impacts on bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)," Krysten L. Schuler, PhD, Cornell University, $105,043.
  • "Preventing the widespread transmission of a newly emerged contagious cancer in a vulnerable species, the Tasmanian devil," Hannah V. Siddle, PhD, University of Southampton, $127,999.
  • "Establishing tissue culture cell lines from reptiles, amphibians, and other captive and free-ranging wildlife," Dr. Robert J. Ossiboff, University of Florida, $89,532.
  • "Aortic aneurysms: An emerging health and welfare issue in bile-extracted bears," Dr. Monica K.H. Bando, Washington State University, $38,538.
  • "Patterns and consequences of microbiome ontogeny in a free-ranging mammal, the Cape buffalo," Leigh Combrink, PhD, Oregon State University, $99,360.
  • "Stress and health outcomes in muskoxen: Validating the use of qiviut cortisol and fecal glucocorticoid metabolites as stress biomarkers," Dr. Juliette Di Francesco, University of Calgary, $77,950.
  • "A nonsurgical method for suppressing gonadal activity in exotic and wildlife species using a novel antibody-guided, lipid-based nanocomplex technique," Dr. Sandra L. Ayres, Tufts University, $10,800.
  • "Identifying factors influencing parasite transmission in critically endangered Grauer's gorillas," Neetha Iyer, University of California-Davis, $10,229.
  • "Assessment of a novel lateral-flow device for rapid diagnosis of Aspergillus fungal infections in wild avian species," Drs. Mark A. Pokras and Michelle Kneeland, Tufts University, $10,044.
  • "Understanding the role of intrinsic physiological factors in the population recovery of Myotis lucifugus (little brown bats) from white-nose syndrome," Christopher Richardson, PhD, Lesley University, $10,648.
  • "Saving endangered frogs: Using RNA interference to reduce the virulence of the frog-killing fungus," Alexandra A. Roberts, PhD, James Cook University, $10,800.
  • "Reducing stress and improving supportive care during netgun capture of wildlife," Dr. Annette T.S. Roug, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, $9,945.

The equine studies are as follows:

  • "The taxa distribution of equine small strongyles following deworming," Amy S. Biddle, PhD, University of Delaware, $10,757.
  • "Paraoxonase-1 activity as a marker for diagnosis of equine metabolic syndrome," Dr. Gabriele Rossi, Murdoch University, $9,355.
  • "Changes in gut microbiome cause or effect of developing equine metabolic syndrome in Shetland ponies: A longitudinal study," Dr. Mathijs J.P. Theelen, Utrecht University, $10,800.