Parasite diversity and prevalence within Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve


  • Virginia Blue Smith


parasitology, ecology, conservation, wildlife health


Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve is a valuable location for research. In the past it has been used for environmental, botanical, and zoological studies but this project seeks to understand more about the parasites that utilize the swamp and the species within it to survive. The terrain of the Swamp makes it ideal for opportunistic, non-invasive samplings of soil, water, and fecal material to collect parasites throughout life stages. Tracks, trails, and burrows leading up to and surrounding water access points, dig sites, feces, and food remnants are commonly used to flag a sampling site and host presence. Samples were subjected to filtration to remove sediment, centrifugation to refine samples, flotation to isolate organisms, and microscopy to help link hosts and better examine parasites. Through physical sample analysis, host identifications, and the identification of parasites, better profiles of the health and environmental characteristics of Ebenezer Swamp can be created.






Natural Sciences