World Rat Day! Helping researchers lay the groundwork for a new tool in disaster relief

A Norway rat has many names: the brown rat, common rat, street rat, or sewer rat and is one of the best known rats.

rat
Photo credit: Timmy Madere, Tulane University

 

This New Orleans rat is helping researchers lay the groundwork for a potentially powerful tool in disaster relief: a mathematical model that could simulate how environmental changes, natural or man-made, affect populations of rodents that carry pathogens hazardous to human health. Listen to my interview with molecular ecologist Michael Blum as he discusses some surprising results from his team’s tracking of pathogen-carrying rodents after disasters on NSFโ€™s Weather or Not! podcast.

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