Congratulations to Chastity Ward for successfully completing her summer research in UGA’s Population Biology of Infectious Diseases REU. Chastity conducted observations of monarchs visiting their milkweed host plants in outdoor flight cages to
quantify environmental transmission rates of their protozoan parasite OE. Excitingly, she discovered substantial variation among monarchs in their visitation rates, which may point to the existence of superspreader individuals. As well as presenting her research at the UGA REU symposium, Chastity will present at an upcoming biomedical research conference, and her ambitious summer project has spawned a follow-up experiment! We’ll miss having her around!