Lily Reisinger, 2018, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
This summer, I performed research on both plains (Equus quagga) and the endangered Grevy’s (Equus grevyi) zebras at Mpala Research Centre in Laikipia, Kenya. Strongyles, intestinal parasites transmitted through the fecal-oral route, were the main focus of this research. These nematodes pose a health risk to equids contingent on the severity of the overall parasite burden. This burden was anticipated to vary based on the differences in social structures between the two species, abilities to range from water sources, reproduction statuses, and across environmental conditions including rainfall gradients, soil types, and vegetation quality. While working in the field, I used the McMaster technique to analyze parasite burdens. Working with Princeton faculty as well as researchers and students from across the country, I was able to get a taste of life as a field ecologist and prepare for my junior independent work this year.