Hosts pay energetic costs to parasites even before infection is established

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In a paper just published in Functional Ecology coming from Lauren’s postdoc work, we report that attacking Euhaplorchis californiensis (Euha) cercariae prompt killifish to become more active and burn more calories. This likely represents that the fish can sense the attacking parasites and then seek to defend against successful infection. Intriguingly, the overall metabolic rates of killifish that already had … Read More

Cassie defends her MS thesis!

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Cassandra Bernas today defended her BS/MS thesis dealing with using DNA sequences to reveal cryptic diversity of parasites in our food webs, and to connect up different life stages of those parasites. Congrats Cassie!

Trematode parasites make more soldiers in areas of greater invasion threat

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That’s the main finding we report in a new Biology Letters pub with collaborators Emlyn Resetaritz and Mark Torchin. Remarkably, this seems to be the first robust documentation for any animal society of a spatial relationship between allocation to a specific caste and the supposed selective agent. Again showing the power of using trematodes as model systems to tackle fundamental … Read More

Euhaplorchis prefers two areas of killifish brains

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In a new collaborative paper, we present the distribution of the brain-infecting host-behavior-modifying Euhaplorchis californiensis (Euha) parasite along the antero-posterior axis of California killifish brains. We find that, although Euha metacercariae cover the whole brain, they are really dense in two areas. The density peaks provide clues to the route of parasite entry into the brain and the neurological mechanisms … Read More