Dr. Jaap Van Schaik, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, gave a talk entitled, “The influence of host social system on parasite population (genetic) structure: lessons from a bat-ectoparasite comparative framework.”
The abstract is as follows:
Host sociality affects host-parasite dynamics directly and indirectly at both ecological and evolutionary timescales. Although the role of host social system in shaping parasite infection dynamics at an ecological level is well accepted and widely acknowledged, studies investigating its additional role in shaping parasite genetic structure, and thereby influencing the evolutionary dynamics between the two interacting species, are comparatively rare. In this talk, I will present work on a comparative framework of several closely related bat species and two genera of ectoparasites. Using this framework we aim to isolate and explore the effects of individual facets of host social system and parasite life history on parasite infection dynamics and population genetic structure. Our results highlight that even comparatively small differences in host social system and parasite life history can dramatically change parasite genetic population structure, and as a result may substantially affect host-parasite evolutionary dynamics.
The seminar was held in the Odum School’s Seminar Room 17 from 2:00-3:30 on Tuesday, December 6.