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microTalk - infectious conversations about microbes

Dec 8, 2017

BlehertDr. David Blehert is the Branch Chief of the Wildlife Disease Diagnostic Laboratories with the U.S. Geological Survey, and a world expert on White Nose Syndrome (WNS). 

WNS is a fungal disease that is decimating American bat populations.  The fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, infects hibernating bats and disrupts their hibernation, leading to high levels of mortality, close to 100% in some caves. 

Dr. Blehert is working to study this fungus and come up with treatments and cures for American bat populations before it is too late. 

He is joined by Jonah Evans, who with Texas Parks and Wildlife is surveying Texas bat populations for the arrival of WNS.  Dr. Blehert and Jonah discuss how this fungus kills bats, ideas on how to save our bat populations, and how their love of animals and nature drove them into their careers.

The MicroCase for listeners to solve is about Fabienne Coolidge, a soft-hearted animal lover who gets an infection from her stray cat, Luke Skywhisker.


  • Karl Klose, Ph.D. (UTSA)
  • David Blehert, Ph.D. (USGS)
  • Jonah Evans, M.S. (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
  • Jesus Romo (UTSA)

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