Because parasitism is such a common way of life and has independently evolved in many different groups, parasites are useful study organisms for asking various different questions which are applicable to most free-living organisms like fish, birds, or trees. At the same time, there are interesting challenges which are unique to parasites due to their life-style such as; finding and successfully establishing in/on a host, evading and/or manipulating the host immune system, altering host behaviour and/or appearance to aid in completing its life-cycle, or sharing a host with other parasites.
Parasites are often overlooked due to their comparatively small sizes and because they are tucked away inside the body of their hosts. The study of parasitism offers us a glimpse into a hidden world of biological drama and intrigue which sometimes can have larger ramifications for the rest of the ecosystem.
Our research interests encompass (but are not limited to)
- Evolutionary ecology of host-parasite interactions
- Evolutionary significance of parasite life history
- Comparative analysis of parasite macroecology
- Components and interactions within parasite communities
If you have a research/project idea about evolutionary ecology of parasitism that you are interested in exploring, feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org).