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Rep. Vela recognizes TAMUK grad student's research

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A Texas A&M University-Kingsville graduate student was recognized by Rep. Filemon Vela after he visited the East Foundation’s El Sauz Ranch last week. 

Lisa Zoromski, originally from Wisconsin, is working toward her master’s degree in Range and Wildlife Management from the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at TAMUK.

Her research focuses on the social behavior and movement ecology of nilgai antelopes which are known to carry cattle fever ticks, according to the East Foundation's website

“It interested me to be able to share my research with a congressman," Zoromski said. "It’s not just a local issue. My research deals with cattle fever tick and while it's only in South Texas ... it will impact the U.S. beef industry.”

The ticks are vectors of a lethal disease that causes a quick and brutal death in as many as 90 percent of susceptible cattle, an article from Progressive Cattle states. Experts say there is no cure available.

“When infected fever ticks feed on cattle, they inject protozoa into the bloodstream,” said Dr. Pete Teel, Texas A&M AgriLife Research. “These protozoa attack the animal’s red corpuscles, causing acute anemia and an enlarged liver and spleen.”

By analyzing camera trap photos and DNA, Zoromski studies how the antelopes use communal latrines and fence crossings. 

“I definitely want to work with wildlife and make a difference that way. So I’m learning about wildlife policy as well as getting experience here," she said. "I really like research that deals with human and wildlife conflicts and trying to solve that. I also like studying wildlife diseases.”

Rep. Vela issued a news release to announce his visit with Zoromski and her professor Dr. Randy DeYoung. He thanked Zoromski for her hard work and promising research.

“Her research is a foundation for establishing a more effective way to treat Nilgai in order to prevent further spread of cattle fever tick to protect our cattle industry,” Vela said.

Zoromski said Rep. Vela was familiar with her research and the issue of the ticks in South Texas.

“I think this is a great program, being able to share your research," Zoromski said. "Because that’s an issue with a lot of scientists, it’s like, you do all this research and then ‘how do you share it?’ I feel it’s important to have congressmen, as well as just the public, understand your research and the importance.”

Category: General Univ , Ag/Env & Wildlife Sci

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