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FOJBI Friday: Danielle Adney, Virologist And Future Veterinarian

FOJBI Danielle Adney
Courtesy of Danielle Adney
FOJBI Danielle Adney

The "Friends of Joe's Big Idea" is a vibrant community of talented people we think you should meet. FOJBI Friday introduces some of these cool communicators of science, in their own words. This week: Danielle Adney.


I work on emerging infectious diseases and just defended my Ph.D. thesis in virology at Colorado State University. My research focuses on the connection between the Middle Eastern respiratory coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and dromedary camels.

On the importance of science communication

Successfully communicating your research is as important as your study. Within the scientific community it fosters productive collaborations, resulting in higher quality research projects. And when you can engage the general public, being able to explain your work can foster support and help establish policy. As infectious diseases emerge, understanding these connections between humans and animals is vital to making public health decisions and informing the public. Finally, if you love what you do, why wouldn't you communicate that?

Current Projects

I work with a team of community-minded scientists to organize Science on Tap, Fort Collins — a monthly event focused on open and informal discussion between scientists and the community. We've covered topics such as Zika, vaccinations and elephant conservation, and even had NPR's Joe Palca speak at one of our events! Video is available from most of our events, and can be found on our website. We are also launching a blog to highlight important science topics that we can't otherwise cover. We hope that our live events and online blog will help facilitate open conversation about science in Fort Collins, and broaden the perception that science is not only necessary but fun and engaging as well.

Future Plans

Many emerging infectious diseases have an important animal component, so human health and animal health are closely related. To better understand this relationship, I am headed to vet school at CSU this fall. Much of the work in my Ph.D. research was the product of a collaboration between Dr. Richard Bowen at CSU and Dr. Vincent Munster at NIAID; I am excited to have the opportunity to continue this research throughout vet school.

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