Episode Summary

There have been dramatic declines in amphibian populations around the world, and one of the culprits is the disease Chytridiomycosis.  This is a skin disease of amphibians caused by two different species of Batrachochytrium fungi, and it has decimated frog and salamander populations and even driven some to extinction.   

Dr. Anat Belasen is a post-doctoral scientist at the University of Texas Austin who studies Chytridiomycosis.  Dr. Belasen discusses how some amphibians are highly susceptible to this disease whereas others are resistant, why amphibian skin is so important for their well-being, how frogs can be considered a biological indicator of the health of an ecosystem, how farmed bullfrogs may be spreading the disease around the world, how genetic susceptibility screening and microbiomes may be used to try and stop the population decline, and how she’s been a frog lover for her entire life. 

This episode was supported by Gordo Sheepsay’s My Brave Little Autoclave, the kitchen appliance that may literally save your life. 


  • Karl Klose, Ph.D. (UTSA)
  • Anat Belasen, Ph.D. (U.T. Austin)
  • Mylea Echazarreta (UTSA)

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