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Encore: FGCU professor working with a global research team to develop snake identification app

Andrew-Durso-Snake-640.jpg
Florida Gulf Coast University
Dr. Andrew Durso, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University

This episode originally aired on May 3, 2022.

About a half million people around the world are bitten by venomous snakes each year, and it’s crucial for doctors to know what species of snake it was that bit them in order to provide the best treatment possible.

In 2019 the World Health Organization launched a strategic plan to decrease the number of deaths and disabilities caused by venomous snakebites by half by 2030.

We talk with a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University who is working with a team of researchers at the University of Geneva in Switzerland to try and help the WHO meet that goal.

Their team has developed a web-based app called Snake ID that uses visual pattern recognition algorithms to help doctors and patients identify venomous snakes. The technology can also be used to help healthcare systems determine what kinds of antivenom treatments to have on hand in particular geographic areas.

Guest:
Dr. Andrew Durso, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University

You can help with this ongoing research effort by submitting photos of snakes to: The Reptile Database, iNaturalist and HerpMapper.