Institute at Brown for Environment and Society
Robert M Blattner '19
Biology ScB (IMMU)
Research Mentor David Rand
The New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis) is an imperiled native mammal in decline coincident with the introduction of the Eastern cottontail (S. floridanus). Robert is investigating innate immune gene biogeography in this native-invasive species pair to better understand the demographic history and population viability of these two species. This is the first investigation of innate immune genes in Sylvilagus spp. and will provide insight into anthropogenic invasion dynamics. His work complements further research by Kim Neil and David Rand on parasite-mediated selection in this species pair.