Environmental Futures Seminar - Dr Tiffany Kosch

Amphibians in Australia and worldwide are threatened by the devastating fungal disease chytridiomycosis. Because this disease cannot be eradicated from the wild, solutions are needed that allow amphibians to survive in its presence. The genomics revolution provides an excellent opportunity to exploit these rapidly developing new tools and resources to increase amphibian disease resilience. I will discuss the how genomics tools can be used to understand the genetic basis of chytrid resistance and how this information can be applied to increase fitness in the presence of the disease. I will also discuss what considerations and precautions should be taken when using genetic intervention for conservation.

Tiffany Kosch is a Research Fellow with One Health Research Group at the University of Melbourne where she is investigating the genomic architecture of resistance to the fungal disease chytridiomycosis in endangered frogs such as the Australian Southern Corroboree frog. She applies approaches from genomics, quantitative genetics, synthetic biology, and animal breeding to develop methods to increase chytrid resistance in frogs and improve the success of reintroduction programs. Tiffany is also the Founding Director of the Amphibian Genomics Consortium (AGC) which aims to bring together people with an interest in amphibian genomics and functional research and increase the generation of amphibian genomics resources.