Carlo Daep

A Two Year Quantitative Study on the Variation of Fungal Growth in an Enclosed Environment

Carlo Daep, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY 40205 / Sponsor: Dr. Joanne Dobbins

This study attempted to correlate the amount of fungal growth with the seasonal changes at the Louisville Zoological Garden Islands exhibit. Penguins and many species of birds have high susceptibility to airborne fungal infections in particular the Aspergillus species; therefore, good air quality must be maintained in zoo exhibits. Seasonal variation was determined through the integration of data collected from 2002 and 2003. A variety of observations were made regarding fungal growth during the winter and summer months. Air samples were collected using an Andersen N-6 impactor. The mold spores were allowed to mature until distinctive fungal structures could be identified. An analyzation of the number of colony forming units (CFU) was performed to determine the overall air quality in the bird aviary. The Aspergillus species are notorious in the infection of the respiration system (Aspergillosis) in birds particularly the penguin species. All fungal colonies were identified to determine the normal flora of molds in the exhibits.