National Wildlife Health Center

...advancing wildlife and ecosystem health

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Jeffrey Lorch


Education and/or Training

B.S. 2005 University of Wisconsin - Madison Bacteriology
B.S. 2005 University of Wisconsin - Madison Wildlife Ecology
Ph.D. 2012 University of Wisconsin - Madison Molecular and Environmental Toxicology

Areas of Specialization and or Research Interests

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • Fungal Taxonomy
  • Herpetology
  • Current USGS Research and Projects

  • Investigation of causes of morbidity and mortality in wildlife
  • Disease ecology and management of bat white-nose syndrome
  • Disease ecology and management of snake fungal disease
  • Surveillance for Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (the fungus that causes salamander chytridiomycosis)
  • Development of molecular methods for detection of wildlife pathogens
  • Optimization of methods for isolation of microorganisms in diagnostic and environmental samples
  • Professional Experience

    2015 – Present Microbiologist, National Wildlife Health Center, Madison, Wisconsin
    2012 – 2015 Research Associate, University of Wisconsin

    Selected Publications

    Guthrie AL, Knowles S, Ballmann AE, Lorch JM. 2016. Detection of snake fungal disease in Virginia. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 52. Epub ahead of print. doi:

    Bohuski E, Lorch JM,Griffin KM, Blehert DS. 2015. TaqMan real-time polymerase chain reaction for detection of Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, the fungus associated with snake fungal disease. BMC Veterinary Research 11:95. doi:10.1186/s12917-015-0407-8.

    Lorch JM,Minnis AM, Meteyer CU, Redell DN, Redell JA, White JP, Kaarakka HM, Muller LK, Lindner DL, Verant ML, Shearn-Bochsler V, Blehert DS. 2015. The fungus Trichophyton vespertilionis sp. nov. causes skin infections that resemble white-nose syndrome of hibernating bats. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 51:36-47.

    Verant ML, Meteyer CU, Speakman JR, Cryan PM, Lorch JM, Blehert DS. 2014. White-nose syndrome initiates a cascade of physiologic disturbances in the hibernating bat host. BMC Physiology 14:10. doi:10.1186/s12899-014-0010-4.

    Cryan PM, Meteyer CU, Blehert DS, Lorch JM, Reeder DM, Turner GG, Webb J, Behr M, Verant M, Russell RE, Castle KT. 2013. Electrolyte depletion in white-nose syndrome bats. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 49:398-402.

    Kapfer JM, Sloss BL, Schuurman GW, Paloski RA, Lorch JM. 2013. Evidence of hybridization between common gartersnakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) and Butler's gartersnake (Thamnophis butleri) in Wisconsin (USA). Journal of Herpetology 47:400-405.

    Lorch JM, Muller LK, Russell RE, O'Connor M, Lindner DL, Blehert DS. 2013. Distribution and environmental persistence of the causative agent of white-nose syndrome, Geomyces destructans, in bat hibernacula of the eastern United States. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 79:1293-1301.

    Lorch JM, Lindner DL, Gargas A, Muller LK, Minnis AM, Blehert DS. 2013. A culture-based survey of fungi in soil from bat hibernacula in the eastern United States and its implications for detection of Geomyces destructans, the causal agent of bat white-nose syndrome. Mycologia 105:237-252.

    Muller LK, Lorch JM, Lindner DL, O'Connor M, Gargas A, Blehert DS. 2012. Bat white-nose syndrome: A real-time TaqMan polymerase chain reaction test targeting the intergenic spacer region of Geomyces destructans. Mycologia 105:253-259.

    Warnecke L, Turner JM, Bollinger TK, Lorch JM, Misra V, Cryan PM, Wibbelt G, Blehert DS, Willis CK. 2012. Inoculation of bats with European Geomyces destructans supports the novel pathogen hypothesis for the origin of white-nose syndrome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A. 109:6999-7003.

    Lorch JM, Meteyer CU, Behr MJ, Boyles JG, Cryan PM, Hicks AC, Ballmann AE, Coleman JTH, Redell DN, Reeder DM, Blehert DS. 2011. Experimental infection of bats with Geomyces destructans causes white-nose syndrome. Nature 480:376-378.

    Meteyer CU, Valent M, Kashmer J, Buckles EL, Lorch JM, Blehert DS, Lollar A, Berndt D, Wheeler E, White CL, Ballman AE. 2011. Recovery of little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) from natural infection with Geomyces destructans, white-nose syndrome. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 47:618-626.

    Lindner DL, Gargas A, Lorch JM, Banik MT, Glaeser J, Kunz TH, Blehert DS. 2010. DNA-based detection of the fungal pathogen Geomyces destructans in soil from bat hibernacula. Mycologia 103:241-246.

    Lorch JM, Gargas A, Meteyer CU, Berlowski-Zier BM, Green DE, Shearn-Bochsler V, Thomas NJ, Blehert DS. 2010. Rapid polymerase chain reaction diagnosis of white-nose syndrome in bats. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation 22:224-230.

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