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Snake Lungworm Alliance & Monitoring

Snake Lungworm Alliance & Monitoring

The Team 


Jenna Palmisano

Jenna Palmisano photographing a pygmy rattlesnake

Jenna Palmisano earned her BS at Stetson University where she majored in aquatic and marine biology and minored in environmental studies. Jenna is currently a second-year PhD student at the University of Central Florida in Dr. Anna Savage’s Lab. She studies the genetic and physiologic impacts of emerging pathogens on Florida pygmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius) populations. Though the focal species of her dissertation is Sistrurus miliarius, she also works to assess all species of snakes in North America that are at risk of pentastomiasis caused by the invasive snake lungworm, Raillietiella orientalis that has been spilled over with established invasive species in Florida. Jenna founded SLAM in the spring of 2022 with Dr. Terry Farrell. Since then, she has increased the connections of the network to over 80 collaborators. Jenna is the co-chair of the national PARC Disease Task Team and the southeastern regional Disease Task Team. Additionally, she started an invasive pentastome working group to connect all researchers studying pentastomes in the southeastern United States and serves as an Associate Editor for the disease section of Herpetological Review.

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Dr. Terry Farrell

Dr. Terry Farrell

Terry Farrell is a faculty member at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida where he typically teaches Ecology, Biostatistics, and Invertebrate Zoology. For three decades, Terry has studied the biology of Florida reptiles and amphibians in the lab and in the field with a series of talented collaborators and dedicated groups of Stetson students. Their published research focusses strongly on pygmy rattlesnakes and includes papers on foraging behavior, reproductive behavior, defensive behavior, demography, venom effects on prey, and the endocrinology of pygmy rattlesnakes. Much of his recent research focuses on two important conservation issues, snake fungal disease and invasive pentastome parasites. A list of his publications is at Terence M. Farrell - Google Scholar

Dr. Andrew Durso

Dr. Andrew Durso, FGCU

Andrew Durso has been an assistant professor at Florida Gulf Coast University since 2020. He is a population and community ecologist who focuses on snakes. Part of his dissertation focused on immune-reproductive trade-offs in lizards but SLAM is his first foray into disease ecology of snakes. Together with a team of undergraduate students, he has been working to better understand the dynamics of the pentastome invasion since 2021.

Michael Brennan

Michael is a graduating master's student at Georgia Southern University, Wildlife Technician for the Jekyll Island Authority and soon to be PhD student at the University of Georgia's Warnell School of Forestry. His background is in herpetology, especially lizards and snakes. In the past, my research has focused on Argentine black and white tegus and Florida scrub lizards. Presently, his research is centered on eastern diamondback rattlesnakes on Jekyll Island, Georgia. Additionally, I assist with curation of the Georgia Southern University herpetology collection which allows access to many incoming specimens from across southern Georgia. 

Michael's interest in parasitology started with the tegus, as multiple non-native helminth species could be found in these invading lizards. He began monitoring native snakes and lizards for non-native parasites that may have invaded alongside the tegus. He was introduced to R. orientalis in a coachwhip while conducting thesis research in north-central Florida and quickly began working with SLAM collaborators to watch for cases from Georgia snakes and lizards.  

Paul Evans

Paul Evans is the Research Coordinator with the University of Florida’s Invasion Science Research Institute (ISRI). ISRI is a team of researchers, data scientists, and extension specialists working to improve knowledge gaps and introduce innovated research within the multifaceted subject that is invasion science. Paul aims to bridge knowledge gaps existing in the invasion science through wildlife education, scientific research, and public engagement. He has aided in improving citizen science initiative throughout Florida and presently is working with SLAM to increase citizen scientists’ efforts throughout the southeastern US. Presently his research is focused on lesser studied nonnative vertebrates throughout the southeast affectionately titled ‘The Leftovers Initiative.’ He is a board member for the Florida Invasive Species Council (FISC), and SE RISCC (Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change). 



Our Partners

University of Central Florida Stetson University Florida Gulf Coast University Georgia Southern University North Carolina State University


University of Florida

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation

Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study

Florida Southwestern State College



Thu, 22 Feb 2024 11:31:09 EST