Faculty Profiles

L. Kristen Page Headshot

L. Kristen Page, Ph.D.

Ruth Kraft Strohschein Distinguished Chair & Professor of Biology

On Faculty since 2000

Dr. Kristen Page's research focuses on the raccoon roundworm Baylisascaris procyonis, how it is transmitted, and how its presence can be decreased in public areas such as forest preserves and green spaces. She often consults with wildlife officials on development and use of mitigation strategies. Dr. Page has also begun to study the connection between parasite and HIV infections in patients abroad. Professional interests include disease transmission dynamics as a function of land use and the development of mitigation strategies for zoonotic diseases. Dr. Page attends Church of the Savior where she assists in the children’s ministry. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, reading, walking, camping, and hiking.

Purdue University
Ph.D., Forestry and Natural Resources, 1998

Auburn University
M.S., Zoology and Wildlife, 1993

Furman University
B.S., Biology, 1990

  • Disease Transmission Dynamics
  • Raccoon Roundworm
  • Mitigation Strategies
  • Zoonotic Diseases
  • Zoology Parasitology
  • Public Health
  • American Society of Parasitologists
  • American Society of Mammologists
  • Mu Phi Epsilon
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Sigma Xi
  • Wildlife Disease Association

Drugged Marshmallows Can Keep Urban Raccoons From Spreading Disease

...Researchers, led by Kristen Page, an ecologist at Wheaton College in Illinois, got down and dirty, studying raccoon hangouts at about 60 sites around Chicago. They wanted to know if there were practical solutions for keeping city folks safe from the critter's parasite. They tested raccoon poop from each site and found about 13 percent of the droppings contained roundworm eggs. However, after baiting monthly for a year with a delicious mix of marshmallow creme laced with pyrantel pamoate (a drug used to deworm dogs and cats), only 3 percent of the feces from the baited sites contained worm eggs.

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Drugged marshmallow fluff keeps raccoons from spreading disease
The Washington Post

In the latest issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, researchers lead by L. Kristen Page of Wheaton College report on their tasty tactics for protecting public health. Raccoons can carry Baylisascaris worms -- intestinal parasites that can cause rare but serious human infection. The Centers for Disease Control reports that infected raccoons have been found in a number of states across the United States...

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Raccoon Toilets Sanitary for Critters, Deadly for Humans

There are only 18 known cases when the worm, Baylisascaris procyonis, has infected humans, and all occurred in North America. However, infection doesn't become obvious until the worm's larvae move into a victim's eyes or central nervous system, where they cause blindness, permanent neurological damage, or death. As a result, it's possible cases have escaped detection, according to Kristen Page, a disease ecologist at Wheaton College in Illinois and the lead author of a paper published in the January issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases...

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Don't Mess With Raccoons

Wheaton College ecologist Kristen Page and her students found that scat from 21 such spots was heavily contaminated with the worrisome roundworm Baylisascaris procyonis. Page says her findings, to be published in the September issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, dovetail with other studies suggesting that between 20 percent and 80 percent of raccoons in various regions are infected with the worm...

Dr. Page has published numerous articles on her area of expertise, the transmission dynamics of disease in human-altered landscapes. Her research primarily focuses on the transmission dynamics of raccoon roundworm and the development of mitigation strategies to reduce the risk of transmission to children. Dr. Page is also investigating the link between parasitic infection and other opportunistic infections among HIV patients.

  • BIOL 242 Diversity of Life: An Introduction to Zoology and Botany
  • BIOL 243 Processes of Life: Ecology and Evolution
  • BIOL 252 Modeling the Systems of Life
  • BIOL 351 Ecology
  • BIOL 352 Parasitology
  • BIOL 381 Public Health and Nutrition in Developing Areas
Prevalence of Baylisascaris procyonis in habitat associated with Allegheny woodrat (Neotoma magister) populations in Indiana, Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 2012

Page, L.K., S.A. Johnson, R.K. Swihart, and K.R. Kazacos

Synergistic stressors and the dilemma of conservation in a multivariate world: A case study in Allegheny woodrats, Animal Conservation, 2012

Smyser, T.J., S.A. Johnson, L.K. Page, and O.E. Rhodes, Jr.

Prevalence of Baylisascaris procyonis in rural and suburban intermediate host populations, Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 2012

Kellner, K.F., L.K. Page, M. Downey, and S.E. McCord

Management of raccoon roundworm in free-ranging raccoon populations via anthelmintic baiting, The Journal of Wildlife Management, 2013

Smyser, T.S., Page, L.K., Johnson, S.A., Hudson, C.M., Kellner, K.F., Swihart, R.K., and Rhodes, O.E., Jr.

Use of experimental translocations of Allegheny woodrat to decipher causal agents of decline, Conservation Biology, 2013

Smyser, T.S., Johnson, S.A., Page, L.K., Hudson, C.M., Rhodes, O.E., Jr.

Baylisascaris procyonis in white-footed mice: predicting patterns of infection from landscape habitat attributes, Journal of Parasitology, 2013

Beasley, J., Egan, T., II, Page, K., Hennessy, C., Rhodes, O.E., Jr.

Parasites and the conservation of small populations: the case of Baylisascaris procyonis, International Journal of Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife, 2013

Page, L. K.

Surveillance for Baylisascaris procyonis in raccoons from Wyoming, Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 2014

Pipas, M., Page, K, Kazacos, K.

Reduction of Baylisascaris procyonis eggs in raccoon latrines, suburban Chicago, Illinois, USA, Emerging Infectious Diseases, 2014

Page, K., Smyser, T.J., Dunkerton, E., Gavard, E., Larkin, B., Gehrt, S.

The structure and seasonality of Baylisascaris procyonis populations in raccoons (Procyon lotor), Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 2016

Page LK, Delzell DAP, Gehrt SD, Harrell ED, Hiben M, Walter E, Anchor, C, Kazacos K.