Global Ranavirus Consortium




New GRC website launched:




The scientific community is increasingly aware that emerging infectious diseases pose a significant threat to global biodiversity.  A group of viruses in the genus Ranavirus (Family Iridoviridae) cause disease in amphibians, reptiles and fish, and appear to be emerging in some populations.  Ranavirus-associated die-offs in larval and adult amphibians have been documented in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, with death rates often exceeding 90% during an outbreak.  Ranavirus infections also have been reported in wild and cultured fish populations worldwide.  While research on reptiles has been slower to accumulate, recent evidence suggests that ranaviruses are capable of causing morbidity and mortality in free-ranging populations.  The capability of ranaviruses causing disease in poikilothermic animals belonging to three vertebrate classes emphasizes the potential risk of these pathogens to global biodiversity.

  The Global Ranavirus Consortium (GRC) was formed following the First International Symposium on Ranaviruses.  The goal of the GRC is to facilitate communication and collaboration among scientists and veterinarians conducting research on ranaviruses and diagnosing cases of ranaviral disease.  Since formation, the GRC has published 3 popular articles on the 2011 Symposium and organized the Second International Symposium on Ranaviruses, which was held 27 – 29 July 2013 concurrently with the International Conference of the Wildlife Disease Association in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.  The Third International Symposium on Ranaviruses will be held 30 May - 1 June 2015 at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, USA.  The GRC recently hosted a workshop on ranaviruses in Harbin, China.

The GRC was recently approved to write the first book on ranaviruses, which will be published as an eBook (i.e., chapters can be purchased independently) by Springer.  Target publication date is November 2014.  The GRC formed global regional discussion groups (see regional contact below) to help facilitate the transfer of information among scientists, and created a website with recent publications.  To improve understanding of the global distribution of ranaviruses, the GRC is working to secure funds to create a Global Ranavirus Reporting System The Executive Board has finalized bylaws for the GRC, and will be offering membership options in 2014.

If you would like to be listed as a GRC scientist or contribute to activities, please contact Dr. Matthew Gray or your regional representative on the Executive Board (see below). We also encourage interested students and scientists to join the GRC LISTSERV (see below).  


Executive Board


1.     Matthew Gray, Ph.D.

Director, University of Tennessee

2.     Jesse Brunner, Ph.D.

Associate Director, Washington State University

3.     Amanda Duffus, Ph.D.

Secretary/Treasurer, Gordon College

4.     Yumi Une, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Asia Representative, Azabu University

5.     Ellen Ariel, Ph.D.

Australia Representative, James Cook University

6.     Rachel Marschang, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Europe Representative, Universität Hohenheim

7.     Thomas Waltzek, D.V.M., Ph.D.

North America Representative, University of Florida

8.     Rolando Mazzoni, D.V.M., Ph.D.

South America Representative, Universidade Federal de Goiás

9.     Greg Chinchar, Ph.D.

Honorary Advisor, University of Mississippi Medical Center


Minutes:     July 2013


Participating Scientists


1.     Matthew C. Allender, D.V.M., Ph.D.

University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine

Department of Comparative Biosciences; 217-265-0320

Expertise:  Ranavirus pathology in chelonians (USA)


2.     Ellen Ariel, Ph.D.

James Cook University

School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences; +61 747 81 4123

Expertise:  Ranaviruses in fish and chelonians (EU and Australia)


3.     Ana Balseiro, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Servicio Regional de Investigación y Desarrollo Agroalimentario

Centro de Biotecnología Animal; 00 34 984 50 20 10

Expertise:  Ranavirus pathology in amphibians (EU: Spain) 


4.     Britt Bang Jensen, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Norwegian Veterinary Institute 

Section for Epidemiology; +47 23216360

Expertise:  Epidemiology of ranaviruses, especially fish (EU) 


5.     Silvia Blahak, D.V.M.

Chemical and Veterinary Investigational Laboratory (CVUA-OWL); 0049 5231 911640

Expertise:  Ranaviruses in reptiles (EU: Germany) 


6.     Craig Brunetti, Ph.D.

Trent University

Department of Biology; 705-748-1011

Expertise:  Genetics and Bioinformatics of Ranaviruses (Canada)


7.     Jesse L. Brunner, Ph.D.

Washington State University

School of Biological Sciences; 509-335-3702

Expertise:  Ecology of Ranaviruses (USA)


Past research:

(1)   Ecology of ATV in isolated tiger salamander populations in Arizona: transmission, persistence, and virulence.

(2)   Ranavirus epidemiology in the Northeast USA.

(3)   The effects of natural challenges and stress on susceptibility to ranavirus infection.

Current research:

(1)       Larval behaviors, contact rates, and the form and function of ranavirus transmission.

(2)       Ranavirus persistence in and transmission from the environment.

(3)       Sketching out the phylogeography of FV3-like ranaviruses.

(4)       Establishing the potential host range of various ranavirus isolates. 


8.     V. Gregory Chinchar, Ph.D.

University of Mississippi Medical Center

Department of Microbiology; 601-984-1743

Expertise:  Gene Function of Ranaviruses (USA)


9.     Andrew A. Cunningham, Ph.D., BVMS

Zoological Society of London

Institute of Zoology; 020 7449 6674

Expertise:  Epidemiology of ranaviruses (England)


10.   Amanda L. J. Duffus, Ph.D.

 Gordon College

 Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences; 678-359-5464
 Expertise:  Ecology of Ranaviruses (England, Canada, and USA)


 Past research:

(1)       Ranavirus-host associations in UK amphibians.

(2)       Life history stages of the common frog (Rana temporaria) affected by ranavirus infections.

(3)       Modeling ranavirus dynamics and persistence in a single host species, the common frog.

(4)       Phylogenetics of UK ranavirus isolates.

(5)       Community ecology of ranavirus infections in pond dwelling amphibians, in Ontario, Canada.

(6)       Effects of immunosuppressant agents on the development of ranavirus infections.


Current research:

(1)       Mathematical modeling of ranavirus-amphibian systems.


11.   Trent Garner, Ph.D.

 Zoological Society of London

 Institute of Zoology; 0041 (0) 207 4496687

 Expertise:  Population genetics and epidemiology of ranaviruses (England)


12.   Matthew J. Gray, Ph.D.

 University of Tennessee, Center for Wildlife Health; 865-974-2740

 Expertise:  Ecology of ranaviruses (USA)


Past research:

(1)       Ranavirus surveillance in Tennessee amphibian communities.

(2)       Impacts of anuran development and the threat of predation on susceptibility to ranavirus.

(3)       Estimating the relative susceptibility of North American amphibians to ranaviruses.

(4)       Determining the effects of amphibian community composition of ranavirus emergence.

(5)       Exploring the possibility of interclass transmission of ranaviruses among amphibians, reptiles and fish.

Current research:

(1)       Is evolution of host immunity and virus pathogenicity related to geographic isolation?

(2)       Determining the occurrence of ranavirus superspreading by an amphibian host: a test of the 20-80 rule (Lloyd-Smith et al. 2005)

(3)       Can ranaviruses cause population extirpation and species extinction: case studies with the Mississippi gopher frog, Chiricahua leopard frog and wood frog

(4)       Temperature effects on ranavirus-host interactions: a test of viral replication versus temperature-induced stress


13.    D. Earl Green, D.V.M.

  U.S. Geological Survey, National Wildlife Health Center; 608-270-2482

  Expertise:  Pathology of ranaviruses (USA)


14.      Jason T. Hoverman, Ph.D.

  Purdue University

  Department of Forestry and Natural Resources; 765-496-3263

Expertise:  Ecology of ranaviruses (USA)


15.      Alex D. Hyatt, Ph.D.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Australian Animal Health Laboratory; +61 3 52275419

Expertise:  Phylogenetics and ecology of ranaviruses (Australia)


16.      James K. Jancovich, Ph.D.

  California State University-San Marcos

  Department of Biological Sciences; 760-750-8525

Expertise:  Phylogenetics and evolution of ranaviruses (USA)


17.      April Johnson, D.V.M., M.P.H., Ph.D; +994 50 281 6390  

Expertise:  Ranaviruses in chelonians 


18.      Somkiat Kanchanakhan, Ph.D.

  Inland Fishery and Research Development Bureau, Thailand

  Inland Aquatic Animal Health Research Institute; 662 579 4122

Expertise:  Ranaviruses in fish and amphibians; OIE Expert (Southeast Asia)


19.      Jacob Kerby, Ph.D.

  University of South Dakota

  Biology Department; 605-677-6170

   Expertise:  Ranaviruses and Stressors (USA)

20.      Marja J. L. Kik, D.V.M., Ph.D.

  Utrecht University and Dutch Wildlife Health Centre

  Veterinary Medicine; 0031 030-2537925

   Expertise:  Ranavirus pathology (EU: Netherlands)


21.      David Lesbarrères, Ph.D.

  Laurentian University

  Department of Biology; +1 (705) 675-1151 ext. 2275

  Expertise:  Ecology of Ranaviruses (Canada)


22.      Rachel E. Marschang, D.V.M., Ph.D.

    Laboklin GmbH & Co KG

    Steubenstr. 4
    D-97688 Bad Kissingen; +4997172020

    Expertise:  Ranaviruses in Reptiles (EU: Germany)


23.      Rolando Mazzoni, D.V.M., Ph.D.

  Universidade Federal de Goiás

   Laboratório de Diagnóstico de Doenças de Organismos Aquáticos; 00 55 623 521 1576

  Expertise:  Ranavirus pathology and ranaviruses in bullfrog farms (South America)


24.      Debra L. Miller, D.V.M., Ph.D.

  University of Tennessee, Center for Wildlife Health

  College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Pathobiology; 865-974-7948

  Expertise:  Pathology of ranaviruses in ectothermic vertebrates (USA)


25.      Nick Moody, Ph.D.

CSIRO Animal, Food and Health Sciences

AAHL Fish Diseases Laboratory; +61 3 5227 5749

Expertise:  Ranaviruses in Fish (Australia)


26.      Angela M. Picco, Ph.D.

  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 916-414-6490

  Expertise:  Pathogen pollution and amphibian trade (USA)


27.      Jolianne Rijks, D.V.M., Ph.D.

  Dutch Wildlife Health Centre; 0031 030-2534366

   Expertise:  Ranavirus epidemiology (EU: Netherlands)


28.      Jacques Robert, Ph.D.

  University of Rochester Medical Center

  Department of Microbiology and Immunology; 585-275-1722

  Expertise:  Immunological responses to ranavirus infection (USA)


29.      Danna M. Schock, Ph.D.

  Keyano College; 780-791-4816

  Expertise:  Ecology of Ranavirus (Canada and USA)


30.      Annemarieke Spitzen, M.S.

  RAVON (Reptile, Amphibian and Fish Conservation Netherlands)

  Department of Science and Conservation; 0031 24 7410600

  Expertise:  Amphibian host range of ranaviruses (EU: Netherlands)


31.      Andrew Storfer, Ph.D.

  Washington State University

  School of Biological Sciences; 509-335-7922

  Expertise:  Evolution of Ranaviruses (USA)


32.      Yumi Une, D.V.M.

  Azabu University, School of Veterinary Medicine

  Laboratory of Veterinary Pathology; +81-42-769-1628

  Expertise:  Pathology of Ranaviruses (Japan)


33.      Thomas B. Waltzek, D.V.M., Ph.D.

  Univerisity of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine

  Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology; 530-574-2976

  Expertise:  Phylogenetics of iridoviruses (USA)


34.   Richard J. Whittington, Ph.D.

 University of Sydney, Faculty of Veterinary Science; +61-2-9351-1619

 Expertise: Epidemiology, pathology, and immunology of ranaviruses (Australia)


Past research:

(1)       Ranavirus surveillance in Australia.

(2)       Host susceptibility to ranaviruses.

(3)       Immunology.

Current research:

(1)       Serology as a surveillance tool.

(2)       Comparative pathology of iridoviruses

(3)       Improved diagnostics for ranaviruses


(1)       OIE Reference Laboratory for EHNV and Ranavirus


35.      Qi-Ya Zhang, Ph.D.

  Chinese Academy of Sciences

  Institute of Hydrobiology; 86-27-68780792

  Expertise:  Genome structure and functional proteins of ranavirus (China)








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Other Resources


Global Ranavirus Reporting System


Laboratories Testing for Ranavirus


2013 Ranavirus Symposium


Important Research Directions


New Publications!!




UT Center for Wildlife Health