Bighorn Health Consortium News


2017 Events

  • Kezia presented work on social dynamics of bighorn sheep pneumonia at Ecological Society of America meeting in Portland August 8th. 
  • A great synthesis paper on bighorn sheep pneumonia, led by Frances Cassirer, out in early view August 3rd.
  • Our research was showcased in a lightning talk at the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease meeting June 27th. 
  • In March, Raina Plowright gave a public talk on bighorn sheep research at the Montana State University Research Roadshow. The talk was attended by 400-450 people.
  • Raina Plowright and Tom Besser gave talks in February at the Wild Sheep Foundation Conference, Helena, USA.
  • In January, Kezia Manlove led a USDA Working Group on cross species transmission with a focus on wild sheep, Fort Collins, CO, USA
  • We are working in collaboration with the Wild Sheep Working Group and Nevada Department of Wildlife to analyze bighorn sheep movement patterns throughout Nevada. 
  • We are working in collaboration with USDA-APHIS-CEAH to describe patterns and consequences of M.ovipneumoniae infection in domestic sheep. 

2016 Events

  • Kezia, Frances, Tom, and Emily Almberg (MTFWP) all spoke on dynamics of pneumonia in bighorn sheep in an invited session at The Wildlife Society's annual meeting in Raleigh (October 18th, 2016).
  • A new paper from our bighorn sheep team, lead by Frances Cassirer, published today.
  • Raina Plowright gave a talk on our group’s work at the Ecological Society of America meeting in Fort Lauderdale, FL this August.
  • Kezia Manlove had a paper accepted into EcologyK. Manlove, E. F. Cassirer, P. C. Cross, R. K. Plowright, P. J. Hudson. Disease introduction is associated with a phase transition in bighorn sheep demographics. 2016. - Congratulations Kezia!
  • K Manlove presented research on demographic consequences of long-term pneumonia persistence at the Northern Wild Sheep and Goat Council Biennial Symposium on May 10th, in Moscow, ID. 
  • Frances Cassirer presented papers on "Strain-specific immunity to pneumonia in bighorn sheep" and "Understanding the dynamics of Mycoplasma ovipenumoniae carriers in a bighorn sheep population" at the Northern Wild Sheep and Goat Council Biennial Symposium Pullman, WA in May.
  • Raina Plowright gave a talk to the Institutes on Ecosystems at Montana State University about bighorn sheep pneumonia dynamics in March, 2016.
  • K. Manlove traveled to UGA to work with Pej Rohani and Andreas Handel on developing a cross-scale model of respiratory Mycoplasma infection in bighorn sheep on an RCN-IDEAS funded project (Feb 27th - March 20th).
  •  K. Manlove presented on demographic dynamics of bighorn sheep in Hells Canyon at the Joint Partners (IDTWS, WATWS, NWParc meeting) on Feb 25th.
  • Frances Cassirer was invited to give a plenary presentation on "Common resources, challenges, solutions" at the Joint Partners of the Idaho and Washington chapters of the Wildlife Society and Northwest Parc in Coeur d'Alene, ID in February.

2015 Events

  • Tom Besser was an invited speaker at the Desert Bighorn Council meeting in California April, and Frances Cassirer also presented a paper.
  • Kezia Manlove gave a talk on March 4th, 2015 at the Montana Chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation meeting in Helena. The talk focused on pneumonia, big horn recruitment, on-going research in Hells Canyon, and new plans to study behavioral ecology of ewe-lamb nursery groups at the Missouri Breaks in Montana.  
  • Kezia Manlove and Peter Hudson will be discussing disease dynamics in bighorn sheep at the Ecological Society of America meeting in Baltimore, MD this summer.
  • Frances Cassirer and Kezia Manlove gave presentations at the annual meeting of the Montana chapter of The Wildlife Society in Helena, February 2015.
  • Frances Cassirer and Raina Plowright are collaborating with Lisette Waits at University of Idaho to assess the parentage of surviving bighorn sheep lambs in the Lostine herd in OR. Winter field studies in Lostine are in full swing.

2014 Events

  • Raina Plowright started a new position at Montana State University as Assistant Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, see her lab website.
  • Kezia Manlove's paper: The Costs and Benefits of Group Living with Disease: case study of pneumonia in bighorn sheep, was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. in November 2014.
  • Tom Besser and Frances Cassirer published results from their experiments with Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae in PLOS ONE this fall: Epizootic Pneumonia of Bighorn Sheep following Experimental Exposure to Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae.
  • Raina Plowright gave a talk on the Lostine herd study at the Society for Conservation Biology Meeting in Missoula, MT, on Monday July 14th, 2014.
  • Kezia Manlove is conducting intensive lamb survival and lamb-ewe and lamb-lamb transmission studies in Hells Canyon this summer 2014.
  • Frances Cassirer gave a talk on the latest findings from our research at the North American Wild Sheep and Goat Congress, June 2014, Fort Collins, CO.
  • Winter sampling of Lostine herd in Wallowa mountains finished in April 2014.  Lambs from the ewes that were sampled are now being monitored over the summer.

2013 Events

  • Frances Cassirer spoke on interdisciplinary collaboration at a symposium on Wildlife Disease Ecology and Management at the 20th Annual Wildlife Society Conference, October 2013, Milwaukee, WI.
  • Peter Hudson presented results at a keynote address at the 11th International Congress of Ecology August 18-23, 2013 at the ExCel Centre in London, U.K.
  • Penn State News featured the Consortium’s research in May 2013.
  • Kezia Manlove was awarded an Academic Computing Fellowship in April 2013 by the Pennsylvania State University to complete her PhD research on bighorn sheep pneumonia in Hells Canyon.
  • Peter Hudson discussed our bighorn sheep pneumonia research in an invited talk at Emory University, Atlanta, GA, in April 2013.
  • Raina Plowright presented recent results of our research at a departmental seminar at the University of Georgia, Athens, GA, in April 2013.
  • Frances Cassirer gave a presentation on our paper on spatio-temporal dynamics of pneumonia in bighorn sheep in March 2013 at the Idaho Chapter of the Wildlife Society Meeting in Coeur d’Alene, ID.
  • Tom Besser gave a presentation in January 2013 on “A Role of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae in bighorn sheep pneumonia outbreaks” at the Western Association of Fish Wildlife Agencies meeting.

2012 Events

  • The Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, Oregon Chapter, awarded the Consortium a grant in September 2012 to conduct a detailed pneumonia study in the Lostine bighorn sheep herd.
  • Frances Cassirer presented a paper on bighorn sheep pneumonia dynamics at The Wildlife Society meeting in Portland, OR, in August 2012.
  • Raina Plowright gave an invited talk entitled “Bighorn Sheep Pneumonia: the Big Questions” to the board of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, in Lewiston,  Idaho in June 2012.
  • The New York Times featured the Consortium’s work on bighorn sheep pneumonia and interviewed Raina Plowright in the Science Times in May 2012.
  • The Morris Animal Foundation awarded the Consortium a grant in March 2012 for our research “Developing an Evidence Base for Managing Bighorn Sheep Pneumonia: Understanding the Role of Carriers”. This award renewed our funding to study bighorn sheep pneumonia.
  • Frances Cassirer, Raina Plowright, and Tom Besser presented our results at the North American Wild Sheep and Goat Congress, Kamloops, BC, Canada, in March 2012.
  • Kezia Manlove presented a talk entitled "Infection and immunity in bighorn sheep" at the Montana Chapter meeting of The Wildlife Society, Great Falls, MT, in March 2012.

2011 Events

  • The consortium held a workshop in November 2011 at the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, at Penn State University, entitled "Challenges to Conservation: Infection and Immunity in Wildlife Metapopulations". More than 20 scientists from a dozen disciplines attended.
  • The University of Idaho Domestic Wildlife Research Award was given to the Consortium in October 2011 for the proposed research “Spatial structure, connectivity, and pneumonia in the Hells Canyon bighorn sheep metapopulation”.
  • Raina Plowright gave an invited talk in August 2011, “Connectivity and the Spread of Infectious Diseases in Wildlife” at the Ecological Society of America annual meeting in Austin, TX. Her talk included data on bighorn sheep in a session on disease dynamics in migratory species.
  • Raina Plowright and Kezia Manlove presented data on bighorn sheep pneumonia at the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases Workshop on Modeling and Data Analysis, in Santa Barbara, CA, in May 2011.

2010 Events

  • Raina Plowright gave a talk entitled “Connectivity versus isolation: trade-offs in wildlife conservation” on bighorn sheep at the Smith Fellows Meeting, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL, in October 2010.
  • The Morris Animal Foundation funded our proposal “Connectivity, Isolation, and Disease Dynamics: Trade-offs in Recovering Bighorn Sheep Populations” in March 2010.