​Student Opportunities

We are always interested in meeting with students to explore potential volunteer or research opportunities. The current focus of our work is on digitizing the arthropod holdings within the collection as part of a National Science Foundation Collaborative Project – the Terrestrial Parasite Tracker. This project will help make the specimens within our collection digitally available to researchers around the country and around the world to help support primary research and education. Students have the opportunity to take part in this three - year project and learn database and website based collections management systems as well as learning about the parasites! 

Other opportunities for volunteering include: cataloging and inventorying specimens, adding new specimens to the collection from various research and course collections, photographing specimens, digitizing specimens, cleaning and maintaining slides and vials, and developing outreach materials. Opportunities vary from specimen intensive work on microscopes to computer-based work with databases and websites. 

If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information, email sorlofsk@uwsp.edu.

Current Research​

Current research in the collection includes the digitization of the arthropod collection through the National Science Foundation – Terrestrial Parasite Tracker Project. In addition, active research involves collecting new parasite specimens from waterfowl and songbird hosts, incorporating them into the collection and describing new species. Recently the collection has begun maintaining a frozen tissue collection for the purpose of supporting future molecular studies to use DNA evidence for species identification, new species discovery and linking cryptic larval stages to the adult parasites.

​Contact the Curator

Sarah Orlofske

Office: TNR 446
Phone: (715) 346-4249
Email: sorlofsk@uwsp.edu

Assistant Professor of Biology
Curator of Parasitology
Ph.D., Ecology and Evolution - University of Colorado - Boulder

Faculty advisor for Tri-Beta National Biological Honors Society - UWSP Chapter.

Student Success

The collection supports between 3-6 student volunteers or researchers each semester and several of the former students are in graduate programs or working in professional parasitology laboratories including the United States Geological Surveys Wildlife Disease Health Center in Madison, WI.

Fun Fact: Student generated images of slides in our collection were featured on the cover of the program booklet for the 2018 Annual Midwestern Conference of Parasitologists meeting held at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL.