Martin Kowalewski, Ph.D.
Assistant Researcher/Post doctorate fellow- MACN, Argentina & University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Location: Northeast Aargentina
Research: Ecosystem Health, Disease Transmission and Habitat Disturbance in Northern Argentina
Species/Topic: Black and gold howler monkeys (Alouatta caraya)
Abstract: This research addresses questions concerning the relationship between the dynamics of zoonotic disease transmission and the health status of non-human primates, humans, and domestic animals inhabiting a rural environment in northern Argentina. Several groups of black-and-gold howler monkeys will be studied in regard to their levels of infection, prevalence, and richness of gastrointestinal parasites at different sites that vary in their degree of habitat alteration, degradation, and levels of contact with humans. I will collect fecal samples seasonally from individually marked Alouatta caraya and water samples from areas commonly used by wild primates, humans, and domesticated animals. The entire sample set will be analyzed in order to identify and calculate prevalence of parasites. This research will provide new insights in the identification of risk factors for disease transmission, improving the ability of conservationists and policy-makers to make informed decisions about the risks and benefits of timber exploitation, wildlife conservation, and human health in developing countries.