Samantha in Taos

Samantha is a senior majoring in biology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. A member of the University Honors Program, she received a Richter Fellowship for summer 2012 to conduct research at SMU-in-Taos. She is investigating the frequency of ectoparasites in specific habitats by collecting them off deer mice. She expects to find ticks, mites, fleas, botflies and more, and will document which parasites are near rivers, woodlands and deserts. With this information she plans to inform residents and visitors of Taos how to stay parasite free and avoid possible transmission of diseases.

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They call it field ‘work’ for a reason

In the lab

An overview of my week:

We did five days of collecting mice in the sagebrush and found predominantly fleas. A few days, because of the rain, we caught few to no mice, but a total of 18 contributed to our data.

We moved on to the mice near the river. This was definitely the most challenging place to set traps. Boots that were knee-high had to be worn to walk in the river; crawling under branches and climbing a few hills did not make it easy! We did get a great number of mice to examine and found mostly ticks.

When work was over we had a lot of fun during free time. One night we played Monopoly and went to the plaza for a concert. We also have been playing a volleyball tournament, and our biology class is in the semifinals! Wish us luck 🙂


At Taos Plaza

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