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Alexander WildLab at Virginia Tech

and CARACAL Study Abroad

Who are We?

The Alexander WildLab is a research lab at Virginia Tech that works in partnership with CARACAL, an Non-government organization in Botswana. The Alexander WildLab is run by Dr. Kathleen Alexander and her research associate Dr. Claire Sanderson. The lab specializes in research centered around emerging infectious disease.


CARACAL stands for the Centre for Conservation of African Resources, Animals, Communities, and Land use. CARACAL was co-founded by Dr. Alexander and her husband Dr. Mark Vandewalle. CARACAL works to better the livelihood of its     community as well as work towards a sustainable future. Within CARACAL is the Chobe Research Center where all of our work is done.



Dr. Claire Sanderson

Dr. Kathleen Alexander 

Because of sample transport regulations as well as strict anti-contamination protocols, our Chobe lab focuses on data and sample collection followed by processing and analysis. This work provides low risk to our students' health and

essential personal protection gear is always provided and worn when working in the laboratory.

Your Program Coordinator


Madalyn Fox is a second-year Master of Public Health student in Dr. Alexander’s lab. As an undergrad in 2016, Madalyn was the first student to travel to Botswana under the same NSF grant. She worked closely with our after school environmental education club students. She also immersed herself in our community wellness work by attending kgotlas (town meetings), science in society series, and working on diarrheal disease research within the poorer communities of Kasane. It was this community work that really sparked her interest in public health. Now she hopes to spark that same flame in you!

Claire_Kathy water sampling.jpg
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