Title of Project
The role of Ozobranchid leeches in the transmission of fibropapillomatosis between green turtles (Chelonia mydas)
Name of Advisor/s
A/Prof Ellen Ariel
College of Public Health, Medical & Veterinary Science
Summary of Project
Although the role of parasites and the pressure they elicit on any wild animal population is difficult to quantify, a general understanding of their role in disease transmission can contribute to conservation efforts.
The marine leech of the family Ozobranchidae is suspected of being a vector of Chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChV5), the causative agent of fibropapillomatosis (FP) in green turtles.
This project will address ecological requirements for hatching of leech eggs and feeding behaviour of leeches on green turtles under controlled conditions. A molecular survey for ChV5 in leeches on wild living turtles will further elucidate the epidemiology of ChV5.
Sea turtles, marine leeches, Fibropapilloma, disease transmission
Would suit an applicant who
Has practical experience with molecular tools, bioinformatics and saltwater aquarium management. Field work with sea turtles would be an advantage