Research in our lab involves microbial ecology of amphibian skin, especially in the context of bacterial interactions with the lethal skin fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which is causing many amphibian populations to decline or go extinct.


Beneficial bacteria are being isolated for use as probiotics to protect frogs in Madagascar from Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis if and when it arrives.

We are participating in the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project.

Our lab is included in the documentary “Mission Critical:  Amphibian Rescue” on the Smithsonian Channel.  Watch the trailer and check for air times here.

Our lab is included in The Vanishing Frog documentary on Animal Planet.

Below are links to stories about our work in the science press:

. Yale Environment 360

  1.   American Scientist 

  2.   BBC web page

  3.   With Good Reason public radio program

  4.   MicrobeWorld radio

  5.   News article in (may need to be on campus to view)

  6.   News article in National Geographic News

  7.   News articles in New Scientist 2007, update: 2009

  8.   JMU web publication

  9.   JMU Madison Scholar article

  10.   National Geographic magazine

  11.   Smithsonian Zoogoer magazine

  12.   The Scientist

  13.   Discover magazine

  14.   Scientific American (online)

  15.   WAMU

  16.   New York Times


Welcome to the Harris lab:

Professor Reid N. Harris

Department of Biology

MSC 7801

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Director of International

  Disease Mitigation

Amphibian Survival Alliance


Phone: 540-568-6665

Fax: 540-568-3333

Harris CV download


Lötters et al. 2011