Ecological immunology, disease ecology, animal behavior, host-parasite interactions and evolution



2010 – present                Ph.D. track Ecology                                                                               

                                           Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia

                                           Co-advisors: Sonia Altizer and Vanessa Ezenwa

2005 – 2009                  B.S. in Biology                                                                                         

                                           Department of Biology, University of Puget Sound

           Spanish minor, Cum Laude, G.P.A. 3.7



2012 - Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid-of-Research 

2012 - Odum School of Ecology Small Grant

2011 - National Science Foundation - Research Coordination Network in Ecoimmunology travel grant

2010 - National Science Foundation - Graduate Research Fellowship

2008 - University of Puget Sound McCormick Grant for research 

2008 - University of Puget Sound Peter K. Wallerich scholarship 



2011 - Odum School of Ecology Graduate Student Symposium- 1st place in Proposed Research

2009 - Phi Beta Kappa honors society induction

2009 - University of Puget Sound Gordon D. Alcorn Award for Outstanding Biology Senior

2009 - University of Puget Sound Undergraduate Research Symposium - Outstanding Presentation

2008 - 2009 - University of Puget Sound Dean’s list



Field technician – Tyson Research Center, Washington University in St. Louis, MO

May - August 2010.  I assisted with an EPA funded project studying the effects of land use changes on tick abundance and distribution. I conducted an independent study on host behavioral responses to perceived parasite risk , and also supervised the independent research projects of four undergraduates.

Supervisor: Dr. Brian Allan

Field technician/student contractor: U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins, CO

May - August 2009.  I assisted in a long-term project monitoring declining populations of boreal toads in Rocky Mountain National Park. In addition to overnight amphibian survey trips, I also coordinated logistics for the research team, including but not limited to acquisition of permits, ordering of supplies, and maintenance of data files.

Supervisor: Dr. Erin Muths

Undergraduate thesis: Department of Biology, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA

2008 - 2009. Thesis title: Chemical communication by the striped plateau lizard: The role of ultraviolet light and female body size in eliciting a behavioral response by male Sceloporus virgatus.  I designed and carried out an independent field research project, the results of which I communicated in the form of a thesis, two manuscripts, and several posters and oral presentations.

Advisor: Dr. Stacey Weiss

Laboratory Assistant: University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO

May - August 2007. I assisted in a project researching the role of tyrosine kinase inhibitor drug treatments on the progression of non-small-cell lung cancer cells, performing techniques including Western blotting, PCR, ELISA assays, soft agar cloning, and tissue culture.

Supervisor: Dr. Lynn Heasley



Graduate teaching assistant: University of Georgia August 2014-present. Ecology and Environmental Issues (ECOL1000L) and Population Biology of Infectious Diseases (ECOL4150).

Curriculum Development Assistant: Slater Museum of Natural History, University of Puget Sound August  - December 2009. I assisted museum staff in launching a curriculum, “Nature in the Classroom”, for teaching elementary students about Pacific Northwest biodiversity. We assembled specimen kits and designed worksheets, field guides, and keys for use in course activities.

Biology Peer Tutor: Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching, University of Puget Sound

2008 - 2009. I tutored biology students on lecture and laboratory material for introductory courses, and assisted with science writing conventions for laboratory reports.

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant: Biology Department, University of Puget Sound

2007- 2008. Over the course of three semesters, I assisted professors of introductory biology and cell biology in the instruction of laboratory sections of courses. I assisted students with techniques and concepts, graded assignments, and held weekly tutoring hours.



Fritzsche, A. and B.F. Allan. 2012. The ecology of fear: host foraging behavior varies with the spatio-temporal

abundance of a dominant ectoparasite. EcoHealth (Online First). (PDF)

Fritzsche, A. and S.L. Weiss. Effect of signaler body size on the response of male striped plateau lizards

                (Sceloporus virgatus) to conspecific chemical cues. 2012. Journal of Herpetology 46: 79-84. (PDF)

Marek, L., Ware, K.E., Fritzsche, A., Hercule, P., Helton, W.R, Smith, J.E., Heasley, L.E., et al. 

                2009Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and FGF receptor-mediated autocrine signaling in non-

                small-cell lung cancer cells. Molecular Pharmacology 75: 196-207.



Odum School of Ecology Graduate Student Symposium. Athens, GA, January 2012 (Talk)

Odum School of Ecology Graduate Student Symposium. Athens, GA, January 2011 (Talk)

Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology. Seattle, WA, January 2010 (Talk)

West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference. San Diego, CA, April 2009 (Talk)

University of Puget Sound undergraduate research symposium. Tacoma, WA, April 2009 (Poster)

Murdock College Science Research Program regional symposium. Tacoma, WA, November 2008 (Talk)



Manuscript review: Canadian Journal of Zoology

2012 - 2013 Graduate student representative on teaching-emphasis faculty search committee

2012 - 2013 Graduate student invited speaker chairperson

2011-2012 Odum School of Ecology Graduate Student Representative


Alexa Fritzsche,
Apr 19, 2012, 6:57 AM