Researchers Help Students Learn about MRLS

Researchers have teamed up with Kentucky’s Thoroughbred industry to educate and involve students in a hands-on experiment project tied to mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS).

About 200 high school and middle school biology students me

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Researchers have teamed up with Kentucky’s Thoroughbred industry to educate and involve students in a hands-on experiment project tied to mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS).


About 200 high school and middle school biology students met at the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington Aug. 25 for an introduction to the MRLS project, which is funded by a $35,000 USDA grant and dispersed through the Fayette County public school system. David Switzer, executive director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, and Steve Johnson of Margaux Farm told students about the importance of the horse industry and the economic impact of MRLS in Central Kentucky in 2001 and 2002.


Through field and laboratory research, students will determine caterpillar populations at different life stages and develop a population model that could help farmers predict MRLS outbreaks. With the hope of additional funding, the model will be tested, revised, and improved.


“This is a project to involve students in real science,” said Bruce Webb, a University of Kentucky entomology professor and MRLS researcher

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Written by:

Amy Whitfield is a former staff writer for The Blood-Horse magazine.

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