WSU pathologist to receive award for amphibian and reptile conservation

Pessier performs a necropsy on a frog as a colleague shines a flashlight.
Allan Pessier performs a necropsy on a frog in Madagascar.

Washington State University professor Allan Pessier (’96 DVM) has been named the recipient of the 2024 Luminary Award by the Northwest Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.

The award was established in 2016 to recognize individuals who exemplify extraordinary leadership, vision, and commitment to amphibian and reptile conservation in the Northwest. Pessier’s nomination was supported by accolades highlighting his exceptional contributions to the field and his invaluable role as a leading figure in herpetofaunal disease research and conservation during the past three decades.

“It is a real honor to be given the 2024 NWPARC Luminary award. It is especially meaningful to me because it was awarded by the real on-the-ground heroes of amphibian and reptile conservation,” Pessier said. “I’m so glad to have been able to contribute to these efforts over the years.”

It is a real honor to be given the 2024 NWPARC Luminary award. It is especially meaningful to me because it was awarded by the real on-the-ground heroes of amphibian and reptile conservation. I’m so glad to have been able to contribute to these efforts over the years.

Allan Pessier, professor
Washington State University

In WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Pessier serves as a faculty member in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology and as a pathologist at the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. He has played a pivotal role in advancing science’s understanding of herpetofaunal diseases and their impact on wildlife. His expertise as a diagnostician has been instrumental in identifying the causes of mortality among wild animals and contributing significantly to the study of emerging infectious diseases affecting amphibians and reptiles.

Pessier has been a key member of teams responsible for identifying or characterizing amphibian chytrid fungi, including Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) chytridiomycosis, diseases that have had devastating effects on amphibian populations globally. Additionally, Pessier has been actively involved in researching herpetological disease treatments and advocating for conservation actions to enhance disease biosecurity.

Allen was presented his award during the Northwest Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation’s annual meeting March 28 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

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