Dr. Anthony Waddle saves frogs in NSW

Dr. Anthony Waddle, a 2020 recipient of the American Australian Association Graduate Education Scholarship, has recently made headlines with his groundbreaking research aimed at protecting endangered frogs from a lethal pathogen. The study, which was just published in the prestigious journal Nature, introduces an innovative solution known as “frog saunas” to combat the devastating effects of the amphibian chytrid fungus.

The chytrid fungus has been responsible for the decline of 90 species of amphibians worldwide, making it one of the most destructive infectious diseases and invasive species ever recorded. To address this crisis, Anthony, now a Schmidt Science Fellow at Macquarie University, along with his international team of researchers, developed a simple yet effective structure to help frogs fend off this deadly pathogen.

The frog saunas, made from bricks and small veggie greenhouses, create a warm environment that allows frogs to elevate their body temperature during the winter months. This increase in temperature is crucial as it helps the frogs kill off the cold-loving chytrid fungus. The simplicity and low cost of these structures make them an accessible and practical solution for frog conservation efforts.

Anthony has already begun implementing these frog saunas in populations of endangered green and golden bell frogs (Litoria aurea) in Sydney. He is optimistic about the immediate benefits this method will bring to these at-risk amphibians. “Seeing the frogs using the saunas and knowing we can provide them with a fighting chance against this pathogen is incredibly rewarding,” Anthony shared.

In addition to his innovative conservation work, Anthony’s research journey is a testament to the impact of the American Australian Association’s support. His dedication to preserving endangered species and the success of his current project highlight the significance of providing resources and opportunities to emerging scientists.

Anthony has shared several captivating photos of the green and golden bell frogs utilizing the saunas. These images not only document the effectiveness of his research but also showcase the beauty and resilience of these remarkable creatures.

We are proud to spotlight Dr. Anthony Waddle’s achievements and his commitment to making a positive difference in the world of conservation. His work exemplifies the profound impact that the American Australian Association Graduate Education Scholarship can have on advancing scientific knowledge and environmental protection.