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Drew Benz - Spring 2012

Drew worked on a project that assessed the incidence of blood parasites in a species of wild iguanas that live in Central America. This was the first scientific investigation of parasitism in this species, and Drew's project was exploratory in nature. He used light microscopy to examine 50 blood samples that were collected previously by a graduate student. He found two unusual parasites: a species of plasmodium, that infected 30% of the animals, and a less-common hemogregarine species. Results of this survey will further understanding of the host range and biology of these parasite types.