Anthony’s PhD research focused on how he can exploit differences in pathogen and host biology to mitigate the impacts of infectious diseases impacting wildlife populations. His research concentrated on the invasive amphibian chytrid fungus, which has brought devastation to hundreds of species of frogs worldwide. Since chytrid is impossible to eradicate once it has invaded an ecosystem, many highly susceptible species cannot survive outside of captivity.
Anthony is now pivoting into the field of synthetic biology at Macquarie University to create novel solutions to combat chytrid fungus. He plans to use existing knowledge from a variety of fields to identify gene candidates that may provide amphibians with resistance to the disease. His eventual goal is to use synthetic biology to place disease resistance genes into species that are susceptible to chytrid, allowing them to be restored to the wild.
Anthony was born and raised in the outskirts of Las Vegas, Nevada, where he discovered his passion for biodiversity and conservation by observing foxes, coyotes, and roadrunners as well as encountering amphibians when exploring desert springs near his home. With species declines at the highest they have been in modern day history, with some predicting the loss of 40% of all species in the next 30 years, Anthony is eager to provide pragmatic and innovative solutions to this conservation challenge by combatting biodiversity loss.