Indigenous perspectives, endangered species, and parasites unfolded through science communication

Nov. 10, 2020


Monument Valley, located on Navajo lands
Cayetano Gil Monument Valley, located on Navajo lands

Deandra Jones, an M.S. student in the Koprowski Lab, recently published her story in the AZ TWS Autumn Newsletter, sharing how her Indigenous roots and upbringing shape her perspective on wildlife research. Jones is a member of the Navajo Nation, Kinłichíí’nii born for Ashįįhí, and takes care to balance her cultural values with her scientific practices. Though this can be a daily challenge, a deep love for mother earth and her flora and fauna serves as a unifying connection. Jones is studying how introductions of new species with novel parasites may contribute toward biological invasions and endanger native species. Not only could her work illuminate routes of parasite transmission that are currently understudied, but through her research, Jones is also learning how to develop effective communication and conservation strategies that she hopes to bring back to her community. Click here to read her story (see page 5). 

Panoramic view of Red Rock, AZ
Deandra Jones
Panoramic view of Navajo lands at Red Rock, AZ