Case Studies in the MCM Program

A man kneeling next to a huge tortoise

Students undertake an intensive, year-long case study project to comprehensively analyze a challenging conservation medicine problem. The case study culminates in a capstone project presentation and written report assessing the problem and recommending strategies to address identified challenges. Based on their own knowledge, skills, and interests, students identify a relevant issue and are charged with synthesizing information and ideas from their coursework throughout the year and from a collaborative team involving appropriate faculty both within the university and through our network of conservation medicine partners. Completed case study reports are evaluated by project partners and Tufts mentors. Students register for the case study each semester (Fall, Spring, and Summer), complete their comprehensive written report during the summer, and present their case study in a special campus seminar in September of their graduating year.

  • Human Dimensions

    • Conservation as a Peacebuilding Tool: A Case Study of the Health Impacts of Peace Parks and Transboundary Protected Areas
    • Unlearning Science: An Autoethnography on New Paradigms in the Field of Conservation

    Species and Landscape Conservation

    • Bobolink Conservation in the Northeastern United States: An Analysis of The Bobolink Project Land Use Metrics
    • An Analysis of Canada Lynx Conservation Concerns in the United States


    • Lead Exposure in Eastern Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) and Red Squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus): Comparing Whole Blood Lead Levels Along an Urban to Rural Gradient in Central Massachusetts
    • Rodenticide Occurrence and Effects in Snakes of Massachusetts

    One Health Approaches and Perspectives 

    • An Introduction to Antimicrobial Resistance in Wildlife—A One Health Approach
    • Rethinking the Relationship Between Animal Welfare and Human Health: Reducing Human-Elephant TB Transmission Through Better Elephant Welfare Practices from a One Health Perspective
    • Assessing Carcinomas in the California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) and Domestic Dogs for Similarities in Clinical Presentation and Etiology as a Model of One Health

    Technological Solutions

    • Using Environmental DNA to Detect the Presence of the Lesser Long-Nosed Bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae)
    • A Shocking Problem: An Analysis of Primate Electrocutions in Costa Rica
    • Evaluating Leatherback nesting sites using GIS and Remote Sensing Methods

    Climate Crisis

    • The Impact of Sea-Level Rise on Boston’s Coastal Wetlands: A One Health Perspective
    • An Uncertain Future for an Iconic Arctic Species: The Effects of Climate Change on Boreal Woodland Caribou in the Northwest Territories
    • Health Beyond Humanity: Illuminating Climate Change Mitigation as a Critical Component of Emerging Infectious Disease Prevention

    Captivity, Rehabilitation, and Health

    • Identifying Predictors of Success for Oiled Seabirds Entering Rehabilitation Centers in California
    • Can Gut Fungi Save the World's Only Venomous Primate? A Javan Slow Loris Case Study
    • Uncovering the Relationship Between Diet and Fertility in Captive Female Southern White Rhinos
  • Behind the Smoke Screen: The Need for Environmental Regulation and Social Justice with Marijuana Cultivation in the United States

    Evaluating the Factors Contributing to Species Redistribution on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

    Seabirds and Climate Change; Trends in Chick Mass and Survival in Black Guillemots (Cepphus grylle) on the Coast of Maine

    Spatial Distribution of Anticoagulant Rodenticides in Non-Target Species, Fishers (Pekania pennanti) in Vermont, USA

    Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Thai Elephants: Prevalence and Management Implications

    Heavy Metal Concentration in Fox Hair: A Harmless Method to Assess Mining Pollution

    A Feasibility Analysis of GPS Tracking River Dolphins in Nepal

    Bats as Disease Reservoirs: The Natural History and Ecology of Zoonotic Spillover

    A One-Health Look at the Effects of Spraying Fire Retardants in California

    Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms in South Florida’s Freshwater: An Evaluation of Threats to Human, Animal, and Environmental Health

    Identifying Factors That Influence River Otter-Vehicle Collisions in Central East Florida

    Investigating Lyme Disease Risk in Urban Boston

    The Zoonotic Transmission of Ebola Virus Disease Through Ape-derived Bushmeat: A GIS-based vulnerability analysis of the Democratic Republic of Congo

    Polar Bears, Climate Change, and Policy in the United States

    The Health Impacts of Plastic Entanglement and Ingestion on Nonfilter-feeding and Filter-feeding Sharks

    Camera Trapping: How a Tool Developed for Hunters Might Instead Save Our Planet’s Wildlife

    A Risk Analysis of the Australian Rhino Project and a Conservation Medicine Alternative to Saving Africa’s Rhinos

  • The Poisoned Plains: Assessing the Impacts of Human-Carnivore Conflict on Ecosystems of East Africa

    Gender Mainstreaming in Water Resource Management in Rural Kenya

    How Hybrid Bears Happened - A Case Study of Brown, Polar and Hybrid Bears

    Risk of Tuberculosis Transmission Between Humans, Elephants, and Non-Human Primates in Temples near Bangalore, India

    A One Health Approach to Understanding the Impact of Ocean Acidification on Massachusetts’ Shellfish

    Moose Population Health in the Northeastern United States

    I’m Ready for my…Selfie? Social Media & Sea Turtle Tourism in Apo Island Marine Sanctuary, Philippines

    One Health Approach to Reducing Sharks as Bycatch

    Proceed with Caution: An Evaluation of Offshore Wind Energy Development in Massachusetts and the Potential Environmental Impacts on Avian Wildlife

    Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth: Impacts of Wetlands Restoration on Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus in Massachusetts

    Factors that Influence Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) trail use

    What Can You Learn from Grey Seals and their Poop?

    Boto River Dolphin Conservation Issues and Efforts in the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve

    Who Benefits from Marine Protected Areas? A Case Study of the Necessity for Inclusive Marine Conservation and Management in Mabini, Philippines

    Using Quantitative Methods to Improve Rehabilitation Success of African Penguin Chicks

    Anthrax in Southern Africa
    Endocrine Disruptors: Crocodilians as Sentinel Species

    Lead Exposure in Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) in Central Massachusetts

  • Elucidating the Elusive: A One Health Approach to Solving Narwhal Conservation Challenges

    Mammal diversity and health at Ibitipoca State Park, Minas Gerais Brazil

    Variations in Parasite Loading of Atlantic Sturgeon in the Hudson River Over Spawning Season

    Integrated Schistosomiasis Control in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Conservation Medicine Solution for a Neglected Tropical Disease

    America's Lead Crisis: A One Health Approach to Combat Environmental Lead Contamination in Urban Areas

    On Yaws Eradication-- Selected Critical Thoughts

    Scent-Detection Working Dogs in Conservation

    Evaluating Environmental Parameters in One Health Experiments

    Raising the Devil: Management of Tasmanian Devil Populations in the Face of a Deadly Cancer

    Here Kitty: Mapping Suitable Locations for Cougars (Puma concolor) Reintroduction in New England | 2016

    Birds of Prey as Biomonitors of Environmental Health: A Case Study About Anticoagulant Rodenticides

    Food Security and the Bushmeat Trade: An Interdisciplinary Approach

    Rangers as Researchers: The Implementation and Impact of a Mobile Monitoring Program for Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) Conservation on the Imire Rhino & Wildlife Conservancy, Zimbabwe

    How Assisted Reproductive Technologies Can be Used as a Conservation Tool
    Christopher Whittier

    Cages, Broken Eggs, and Influenza: The Multidimensional Legacy of the Exotic Parrot Trade

    White-nose Syndrome in North American Vesper Bats: Evaluating the Reliability of Pd Detection Methods in Non-Hibernal Bats

  • The Roles and Limitations of Wildlife Clinics in Conservation: An Analysis of Tufts Wildlife Clinic Admissions

    Linking Human Health and Butterfly Conservation: A Cross-Sectional Study of New York City Community Gardens in Underserved Neighborhoods

    Analysis of Pet Health Needs for Seattle’s Homeless Pet Owners

    Conservation of the Environment Vs. Oil Drilling: Amazonia of Ecuador

    Gray Seals as Sentinels for the Massachusetts Marine Nearshore Ecosystem

    The Rains Down in Africa: A Study of the Effects of Rainfall and Human Presence on Lion Movement in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, Botswana

    Born Free: Mapping Suitable Mustang Herds for Contraceptive Programs in Oregon

    Companion Animal Disease Surveillance: What Was, What Is, And Where It Can Go

    Where do Marbled Salamanders Live and Why? A Survey of the Vernal Pools of the Blue Hills of Massachusetts

    The Effects of Climate Change on Black Bears in New England

    Atlantic Salmon Farms: Strategies to Decrease Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus Transmission

    Associated Toxicities due to Microplastic Exposure in the Mediterranean

    Whale this is Fishy: An Examination of Winter Flounder as a Possible Indicator of North Atlantic Right Whale Health

    An Analysis of Leptospirosis as a One Health Predicament in Thailand

    Disentangling Values to Resolve Controversial Conservation Policy in the Anthropocene

    Media Content Analysis on Felinae-human Interactions

  • TB or Not TB? Applying Tuberculosis Surveillance Techniques to Wild Elephant Populations

    Beavers: An Answer to Nonpoint Source Pollution Through Denitrification

    Implementing a Targeted Arthropod-borne Disease Educational Tool for a High Risk Population in Massachusetts

    Bighorn Sheep Pneumonia: An Introductory Analysis on State Management Plans

    The Ecological Role of Tasmanian Devils: Managing Trophic Cascades Amidst Devil Declines

    No Mow Lawns - An Analysis of American Lawns from a Conservation Medicine Perspective

    Disease and Behavioral Risk Assessments of Human-Harbor Seal Conflicts at the La Jolla Children's Pool

    Plastic Debris in the Marine Environment: A Conservation Medicine Approach to Plastic Ingestion in Marine Fauna

    Complications of Captivity: Rejection, Sustainability, and Ethics

  • One Welfare: Linking Human-Animal Welfare within the One Health Concept

    Climate Change and Emerging Diseases: A Conservation Medicine Perspective

    Influences on Priority Listing for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement Investigations and Cases

    Marine Microplastics: A Conservation Medicine Perspective

    Antibiotic Resistant Bacterial Pneumonia from Swine, Cattle, and Poultry in the United States

    Iodine Deficiency in Humans and Livestock: A Comprehensive Review

    Current and Future Anti-Poaching Programs for African Elephant and Rhino Conservation

    An Assessment of Live Animal Trade at Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok, Thailand: A Focus on Zoonotic Disease Risks

    Assessment of the Zoonotic Disease Potential to Public Health from Importation of Eurasian Rodents into United States; Risk Analysis-Wildlife Trade

    Cumulative Analysis of the Southern Resident Killer Whale Population Decline

    Future Conservation, Ltd. and the Education Gap

    Associations of Chinese National Identity and Perceived Disease Risk with Wildlife Consumption: A Cross-Sectional Survey Based Study

    Koala Retrovirus: Its History and Future

    Diamonds Are Not a Birds Best Friend: Does Diamond Mining Impede Waterbird Conservation in Sub-Saharan Africa?

  • A Comparison of Canine Rabies Control Programs in Thailand and the Guangdong Province in China: A Case Study Approach

    Sylvatic Dengue Emergence and Evolution

    Overview of Newcastle Disease Surveillance in African Union Member Countries

    The Potential for Community-Level Vector Control for Malaria and Schistosomiasis Using Farmer Field Schools in Sub-Saharan Africa

    White-Nose Syndrome: A Conservation Medicine Perspective

    Determinants of Public Perception of Climate Change and the Influence of Extreme Weather Events on Public Acceptance

    Alternative Strategies for Disease Surveillance in the Veterinary Medical Community: Recommendations for Massachusetts as a Leader in Health Informatics

    Amphibians in Decline: Epidemiology of the Chytrid Fungus

    Selenium Deficiency in Alaskan Dall's Sheep

    The Effects of Ocean Acidification on Tropical Coral Reefs and the Endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle: An Ecosystem Approach

  • A Novel Strategy for Large Carnivore Conservation-Examining the Relationship between Chronic Wasting Disease and Wolves in a One-Health Framework

    Yellow Fever Epidemiology in Colombia: A Conservation Medicine Approach

    Applying Participatory Approaches to Conservation Medicine: An Evaluation of Effective Methods and a Case Study in Anthrax Management near Queen Elisabeth National Park, Uganda

    Wildlife Trade and Disease: A Conservation Medicine Perspective

    Anthropogenic influences on the Development of Fibropapilloma in the Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

    Anthropogenic Eutrophication, Vibrio Cholerae and Domoic Acid Producing Diatom Spp., The Impact Fertilizers are Having on Marine Animal and Human Pathogens

    Infectious Disease and Orangutan Conservation: A Conservation Medicine Perspective

    Comparative Analysis of Citizen Science Seabird Health Monitoring Programs Around the World

    The Ecology and Epidemiology of Multi-Host Pathogens: A Case Study of Diseases Transmitted Between Domestic Carnivores, Wildlife and Humans