top of page
Beachmere grey 02c.jpg
Mariel cropped photo.jpg


Mariel Familiar Lopez


BSc Biology

MSc Enviroment Biology



Research Associate

Contact details


Environmental Futures Research Institute

Building G05, School of Environment and Science,

Gold Coast campus, Griffith University, 

Queensland, Australia 4222

Email: mariel.familiarlopez"at"

Twitter: @froggirl_mariel

Research Overview


I am a terrestrial ecologist particularly interested in amphibian disease ecology, wildlife conservation and environmental sciences. My research expertise includes amphibian infectious disease, terrestrial field ecology, spatial analysis, amphibian thermal physiology, climate change, species distribution and occupancy modelling, molecular analysis and amphibian microbiome interactions.



I studied Biology at the Faculty of Sciences at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) completing my degree in 2007. My bachelor thesis project consisted on modelling the variation in daily temperature in relation to potential outbreaks of chytridiomycosis in mountain amphibians from the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca, Mexico. Shortly after, I followed my studies with a Masters in Environmental Biology at the Ecology Institute (UNAM) completing my degree in 2010. I developed a thesis project on environmental and geographic factors that influence the incidence and prevalence of chytridiomycosis in amphibians of the mountain areas of Guerrero, Mexico.

These two projects developed my interest in in wildlife disease ecology, especially in amphibians, which lead me to pursue a PhD in this topic. I came to Australia to undertake my PhD at Griffith University in collaboration with World Heritage Australia, Southern Cross University and James Cook University. My PhD focused on studying the distribution, ecology, disease and physiology of a cryptic, mountain-top endemic frog (Philoria loveridgei) in the face of climate change. My research sites where in the Tweed Caldera Rim within Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, in mid-eastern Australia.


In my dissertation I examined how: (i) sensitivity to environmental change (i.e. changes in calling phenology, thermal tolerances, and disease susceptibility), and (ii) exposure to environmental change (i.e. detectability, occupancy and species distribution, and thermal environment and microhabitat buffering), influenced the vulnerability of this anuran. My latest collaborative research project focused on amphibian skin microbiota, investigating the effects of climatic conditions and chytridiomycosis on the diversity of frog skin bacteria, with Dr. Eria Rebollar and Dr. Reid Harris (James Madison University and Centre for Genomic Sciences).

Research Keywords

Disease ecology, wildlife conservation, Amphibians, Chytridiomycosis, Skin Microbial Communities, Climate Change, Occupancy and Species Distribution modelling, Science Communication

Publications & Theses


  • Familiar López M, Rebollar EA, Harris RN, Vredenburg VT, Hero JM Temporal variation of the skin bacterial community and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in the terrestrial cryptic frog Philoria loveridgei. Front Microbiol. 22;8:2535. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.02535. eCollection 2017.


  • Familiar López M (2016) Doctoral Dissertation: Distribution, ecology, disease and physiology of mountain-top endemic frogs in the face of climate change: A study on Philoria sp.


  • Familiar López M Masters Dissertation: Environmental and geographic factors that influence the incidence and prevalence of Chytridiomycosis in amphibians of the mountain areas of Guerrero, Mexico


  • Frías-Alvarez P., Vredenburg V.T., Familiar López M., Longcore J.E., González-Bernal E., Santos-Barrera G., Zambrano L. y Parra-Olea G. Crytridiomycosis Survey in Wild and Captive Mexican Amphibians. EcoHealth 5:18-26.

Mariel Familiar 2 small.jpg


  • Familiar López M Honours Dissertation: Variation in daily temperature and the relationship with outbreaks of Chytridiomycosis in mountain amphibians in Guerrero and Oaxaca, Mexico.



  • Species on the Move Inaugural Conference video competition, “Who likes it hot? Mountain top frog vulnerability to climate change”, 2nd place in the People’s Choice Award.


  • Griffith University Environmental Future Research Centre Student Symposium, ”Distribution, ecology, disease and physiology of mountain-top endemic frogs in the face of climate change: A study on Philoria sp.” 1st place in the Post Confirmation Category


  • National Autonomous University of Mexico Commendation for excellence for Master in Science


Science Communication

  • Educational short film “Back from the Brink: episode 8 - Red and yellow mountain-frog”, Natura Pacific, 2018 (link

  • Cutting Edge Professional Development Day for Teachers and Scientific Operation Officers, Griffith University, 2016 and 2017 (link

  • Pop-up Science Centre, Griffith University, 2016, 2017 and 2018 (link

  • World Science Festival Brisbane, Griffith University, 2017 and 2018 (link

  • Science Tent at Splendour in the Grass, Inspiring Australia, 2017 and 2018.

  • Cutting Edge for kids, Griffith University, 2017 and 2018 (link)

  • Pint of Science Australia, Brisbane, 2017

bottom of page