WSU Researcher Honored At Library Of Congress

Sep 28, 2017


After 20 years, a Washington scientist's work is being recognized for helping save and protect wildlife around the world.

Washington State University veterinary pathologist Allan Pessier has just been presented with one of this year's Golden Goose Awards at The Library of Congress.

Businesses, universities and scientific groups give them out to honor research once considered odd, but that’s led to big payoffs for society.

During the 1990s, Pessier and his colleagues were given federal money to find out why a zoo's poison dart frogs were dying.

Pessier said they eventually traced it to a fungus that also turned out to be infecting and killing amphibians across the globe.

"You know I've certainly heard plenty of times in my career, 'Why do you care if a frog at the zoo dies? You know, just throw it in the trash and get another one.’ But it's important.” Pessier said. “You know we were working on a global problem that was responsible for, you know...extinctions."

Their research has not only saved the dart frog, it's also helped reshape policies about how all kinds of animals are transported around the world.

Copyright 2017 KUOW