Sarah Budischak

Sarah is a physiological ecologist who doesn’t mind doing the often dirty work of studying helminth infection in hosts ranging from tadpoles to buffalo to mice. She aims to bring together ideas from immunology, parasitology, and community ecology to better understand how hosts, multiple parasites, and nutrition interact to influence host health and disease dynamics.


Email Sarah Budischak

Personal Website


Ph.D. with honors in Ecology, Odum School of Ecology
University of Georgia

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Montana
(Transferred to UGA with Advisor)

M.S. in Wildlife Science, Wildlife Ecotoxicology and Physiological Ecology Lab.
Virginia Tech

B.S. with honors in Biology, minor in Chemistry
Davidson College


2015-2016 - Princeton University
Writing in Science and Engineering Teaching Fellow
Best Presentation Award, Woods Hole Immunoparasitology Conference. 2015

2010-2014 - University of Georgia
University of Georgia Award of Excellence. 2014
Solitary Glove Service Award, Odum School of Ecology. 2014
NSF Research Coordination Network: Ecoimmunology Graduate Travel Award. 2014
NSF Innovation in Graduate Education Challenge. Second Place Winning team with fellow graduate students Dara Satterfield and Sara Heisel. 2013
Odum School of Ecology Frank Golley Memorial Scholarship. 2013.
Odum School of Ecology Best Student Paper Award. 2013.
Ecohealth Best Student Presentation Award. NSF EEID Travel Award. 2012
Odum School of Ecology Small Grant. 2011
NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant. 2010

2008-2010 - University of Montana
NSF IGERT Fellowship. Montana Ecology of Infectious Diseases. 2008-2010
Burroughs Wellcome Ecology and Evolution Travel Scholarship. 2010
SICB Annual Meeting 2010 Student Travel Support. 2010
Montana Ecology of Infectious Diseases IGERT Small Grant. 2009

2006-2008 - Virginia Tech
SETAC/ET&C Best Student Paper Award. 2008
Richard L. Hoffman Best Student Presentation Award, Virginia Herpetological Society. 2008

2003-2005 - Davidson College
David C. Grant Travel Award. 2005
NSF REU Fellowship, Whitney Marine Lab, University of Florida. 2004
NSF REU Fellowship, Davidson College. 2003

Additional Publications

Budischak, S.A., D. O’Neal, A.E. Jolles, and V.O. Ezenwa. Differential host responses to parasitism shape divergent fitness costs of infection. Functional Ecology. In Press.

Austin, L.V., S.A. Budischak, J. Ramadhin, E.P. Hoberg, A. Abrams, A.E. Jolles, and V.O.
Ezenwa. 2017. A comparison of two methods for quantifying parasitic nematode fecundity. Parasitology Research 116:1597-1602

Budischak, S.A., Art Abrams, Eric Hoberg, A.E. Jolles, and V.O. Ezenwa. 2016. Experimental insight into the process of parasite community assembly. Journal of Animal Ecology, 85:1222-1233.

P.R. Stephens, S. Altizer, K.F. Smith, A.A. Aguirre, J.H. Brown, S.A. Budischak, J.E. Byers, J.T. Davies, J.M. Drake, V.O. Ezenwa, M.J. Farrell, J.L. Gittleman, B.A. Han, S. Huang, R.A. Hutchinson, P.T. Johnson, C.L. Nunn, D. Onstad, A. Park, G.M. Vazquez-Prokopec, J.P. Schmidt, R. Poulin. 2016. The macroecology of infectious diseases: a new perspective on global-scale drivers of pathogen distributions and impacts. Ecology Letters, 19:1159-1171.

Budischak, S.A., Art Abrams, Eric Hoberg, A.E. Jolles, and V.O. Ezenwa. 2016. A combined parasitological molecular approach for noninvasive characterization of parasitic nematode communities in wild hosts. Molecular Ecology Resources, 15:1112-1119.

Budischak, S.A., K. Sakamoto, J.F. Urban, Jr, and V.O. Ezenwa. 2015. Resource limitation alters the consequences of co-infection for both hosts and parasites. International Journal for Parasitology, 45:455-463.

Hopkins, W.A., C. Bodinof, S.A. Budischak, and C. Perkins. 2013. Nondestructive indices of mercury exposure in three species of turtles occupying different trophic niches downstream from a former chloralkali facility. Ecotoxicology 22:22-32.

Budischak, S.A., A.E. Jolles, and V.O. Ezenwa. 2013. Direct and indirect costs of co-infection in the wild: linking GI parasite communities, host hematology, and immune function. International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife, 1:2-12.

Bergeron, C.M., K.M. Bodinof, S.A. Budischak, H. Wada, J.M. Unrine, and W.A. Hopkins. 2011. Counterbalancing effects of maternal mercury exposure during different stages of early ontogeny in American toads. Science of the Total Environment 409:4746-4752.

Budischak, S.A., L.K. Belden, and W.A. Hopkins. 2009. Relative toxicity of malathion to trematode-infected and noninfected Rana palustris tadpoles. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 56:123-128.

Budischak, S.A., L.K. Belden, and W.A. Hopkins. 2008. The effects of malathion on embryonic development and latent susceptibility to trematode parasites in ranid tadpoles. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 27:2496-2500.

Hester, J. M., S.A. Budischak, and M.E. Dorcas. 2008. The Davidson College Box Turtle Mark-Recapture Program: Urban Herpetological Research Made Possible by Citizen Scientists. In R. E. Jung and J. C. Mitchell (eds.), Urban Herpetology. Herpetological Conservation V.3, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Salt Lake City, UT.

Budischak, S.A., J.M. Hester, S.J. Price, and M.E. Dorcas. 2006. Natural history of Terrapene carolina (box turtles) in an urbanized landscape. Southeastern Naturalist. 5:191-204.

Ripperton, J.G., P.A. Peroni, and S.A. Budischak. 2006. Effects of burial on seed germination and seedling performance in white campion (Silene latifolia). Journal of the North Carolina Academy of Science 122:29-38.