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Reid Harris
Contact Info

Professor of Biology
B.S. - Duke University
M.S. - University of Maryland
Ph.D. - Duke University

Phone - 540-568-6665
Fax - 540-568-3333
Office -  Bioscience 1028B  

Office Hours    |    Lab website

Courses:   Ecology and Evolution (BIO 124), Mathematical Models in Biology (BIO 325), Population Ecology (452/552),Graduate Ecology Seminar (BIO 660)

Research Interests:  Disease Ecology, Conservation Ecology, Population and Community Ecology

Ongoing project areas in my laboratory include:

  • the use of probiotics to mitigate chytridiomycosis in amphibian populations
  • the community ecology context of infectious diseases in wildlife
  • conservation of the rare Cow Knob salamander (Plethodon punctatus)

Our research is currently funded by the National Science Foundation and supported by the USDA Forest Service.

*Undergraduate or masters student co-author

Loudon, A. H., Holland*, J. A., Umile, T. P., Burzynski, E. A., Minbiole, K. P., & Harris, R. N. 2014. Interactions between amphibians’ symbiotic bacteria cause the production of emergent anti-fungal metabolites. Frontiers in Microbiology, 5, 441.

Rebollar, E. A., Hughey, M. C., Harris, R. N., Domangue, R. J., Medina, D., Ibáñez, R., & Belden, L. K. 2014. The Lethal Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Is Present in Lowland Tropical Forests of Far Eastern Panamá. PloS one, 9(4), e95484.

Bletz*, M.C., R.N. Harris. 2013. Occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Notophthalmus viridescens in northwestern Virginia, USA. Herpetological Review 44:257-259.

Bletz*, M.C., A.H. Loudon*, M.H. Becker, S.C. Bell, D.C. Woodhams, K.P.C. Minbiole, R. N. Harris. 2013. Mitigating amphibian chytridiomycosis with bioaugmentation: Characteristics of effective probiotics and strategies for their selection and use.  Ecology Letters 16:807-820.

Loudon*, A.H., D.C. Woodhams, L.W. Parfrey, H. Archer, R. Knight, V. McKenzie, R.N. Harris.  Microbial community dynamics and effect of environmental microbial reservoirs on red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus).  ISME J 8:830-840.

Muletz*, C.R., J.M. Myers*, R.J. Domangue, J.B. Herrick, R.N. Harris. 2012. Soil bioaugmentation with amphibian cutaneous bacteria protects amphibian hosts from infection by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Biological Conservation 152:119-126.

Myers*, J. M., J.P. Ramsey, A.L. Blackman*, A. E. Nichols*, K.P.C. Minbiole, R. N. Harris. Synergistic inhibition of the lethal fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis:  The combined effects of symbiotic bacterial metabolites and antimicrobial peptides of the frog Rana muscosa. Journal of Chemical Ecology, online first.

Woodhams, D.C., C.C. Geiger, L.K. Reinert, L.A. Rollins-Smith, B. Lam, R.N. Harris, C.J. Briggs, V.T. Vredenburg, J. Voyles. 2012. Treatment of amphibians infected with chytrid fungus: learning from failed treatments with itraconazole, antimicrobial peptides, bacteria, and heat therapy. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 98:11-25.

Becker, M.H., R.N. Harris, K.P.C. Minbiole, C.R. Schwantes*, L.A. Rollins-Smith, L.K. Reinert, R.M. Brucker, R.J. Domangue, B. Gratwicke. 2012. Towards a better understanding of the use of probiotics for preventing chytriodiomycosis in Panamanian golden frogs. EcoHealth 8:501-506.

Lam*, B. A., D. B. Walton, R. N. Harris. 2011. Motile zoospores of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis move away from antifungal metabolites produced by amphibian skin bacteria. EcoHealth 8: 36-45.

Walke, J.B., R.N. Harris, L.K. Reinert, L.A. Rollins-Smith, D. C. Woodhams. 2011. Social immunity in amphibians:  Evidence for vertical transmission of innate defenses. Biotropica 43:396-400.

Wiggins*, P. J., J. M. Smith*, R. N. Harris, K.P.C. Minbiole.  2011. The gut of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) may serve as a reservoir for an antifungal cutaneous bacterium.  Journal of Herpetology 45:329-332.

Vredenburg, V.T., C. J. Briggs, R. N. Harris. 2011. Host-pathogen dynamics of amphibian chytridiomycosis:  the role of the skin microbiome in health and disease. In Fungal Diseases: An Emerging Challenge to Human, Animal, and Plant Health. Editors: Olsen, L., E. Choffnes, D. A. Relman, L. Pray. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press, pp. 342 -355.

Becker*, M. H., R. N. Harris. 2010. Cutaneous bacteria of the redback salamander prevent morbidity associated with a lethal disease. PLoS One PLoS ONE 5(6): e10957. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010957

Lam*, B. A., J. B. Walke, V. T. Vredenburg, R. N. Harris. 2010. Proportion of individuals with anti-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis skin bacteria is associated with population persistence in the frog Rana muscosa. Biological Conservation 143: 529–531.

Becker, M. H., R. M. Brucker, C. R. Schwantes, R. N. Harris, K.P.C. Minbiole. 2009. The bacterially-produced metabolite violacein is associated with survival in amphibians infected with a lethal disease. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 75:6635-6638.

Harris, R. N., R. M. Brucker, J. B. Walke, M. H. Becker, C. R. Schwantes*, D. C Flaherty*, B. A. Lam, D. C. Woodhams, C. J. Briggs, V. T. Vredenburg, K. P. C. Minbiole.  2009. Skin microbes on frogs prevent morbidity and mortality caused by a lethal skin fungus. ISME Journal 3:818-824.

Harris, R. N., A. Lauer, M. A. Simon, J. L. Banning*, R. A. Alford.  2009. Addition of antifungal skin bacteria to salamanders ameliorates the effects of chytridiomycosis. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 83:11-16.

Banning*, J. L., A. L. Weddle*, G. W. Wahl III*, M. A. Simon, A. Lauer, R. L. Walters*, and R. N. Harris. 2008. Antifungal skin bacteria, embryonic survival, and communal nesting in four-toed salamanders, Hemidactylium scutatum. Oecologia 156:423–429

Brucker*, R. M., C. M. Baylor*, R. L. Walters*, A. Lauer, R. N. Harris, and K. P. C. Minbiole. 2008. The identification of 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol as an antifungal metabolite produced by cutaneous bacteria of the salamander Plethodon cinereus. Journal of Chemical Ecology 34:39-43.

Brucker*, R. M., R. N. Harris, C. R. Schwantes*, T. N. Gallaher, D. C. Flaherty*, B. A. Lam*, K. P. C. Minbiole. 2008. Amphibian chemical defense: antifungal metabolites of the microsymbiont Janthinobacterium lividum on the salamander Plethodon cinereus. Journal of Chemical Ecology 34:1422-1429.

Lauer, A., M. A. Simon, J. L. Banning*, B. Lam*, and R. N. Harris. 2008. Diversity of cutaneous bacteria with antifungal activity isolated from female four-toed salamanders.  The ISME Journal 2: 145–157.

Belden, L. K., and R. N. Harris. 2007. Infectious diseases in wildlife:  the community ecology context. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment 5:533-539.

Lauer, A., M. A. Simon, J. L. Banning*, E. André*, K. Duncan*, and R.  N. Harris.  2007. Common cutaneous bacteria from the eastern red-backed salamander can inhibit pathogenic fungi. Copeia, 2007: 630-640.

Woodhams, D. C., V. T. Vredenburg, M. J. Stice, M. A. Simon, D. Billheimer, B. Shakhtour, Y. Shyr, C. J. Briggs, L. A. Rollins-Smith, and R. N. Harris. 2007. Symbiotic bacteria contribute to innate immune defenses of the threatened mountain yellow-legged frog, Rana muscosa.  Biological Conservation, 138: 390-398.

Woodhams, D. C., L. A. Rollins-Smith, R. A. Alford, M. A. Simon & R. N. Harris. 2007. Response - Innate immune defenses of amphibian skin: antimicrobial peptides and more. Animal Conservation 10: 425–428

Harris, R. N., T. Y. James, A. Lauer, M. A. Simon, A. Patel*. 2006. The amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is inhibited by the cutaneous bacteria of amphibian species.  EcoHealth 3:53-56.