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Course Description (Zoo 5010): This seminar will cover concepts in ecological and evolutionary parasitology. The ecology and evolution of parasitism (aka host-parasite interactions) has roots that go back about a century. However, it did not begin to emerge as a discipline until the past 40 years and based on the works of John Holmes, Peter Price, Claude Combes, Gerry Esch, John Janovy and their students among others. However, and in the broadest sense, over the last 20 years, few areas of wildlife biology have experienced such an enormous increase in scientific interest as host–parasite interactions. This surge in research has flooded the literature with papers on these interactions and their influence on studies in behavioral ecology, genetics, population biology, eco-immunology, and molecular biology among others.

We will spend the first portion of the semester covering basic concepts about parasite host specificity, life cycles, ecology and evolution of parasites. I will give an introductory lecture on the topic at hand during our first few meetings and we will continue the discussions with student-led discussions based on readings in Combes (2005) and other relevant papers from the primary literature I will provide during fallowing weeks. Finally, I will ask each of you to present a short 30-minute lecture/discussion on a specific topic dealing with ecological and evolutionary parasitology. I will provide some potential topics at the end of this syllabus for you to choose from or you can choose your own topic of interest but please check with me first if the topic is appropriate.


Week 1: Introduction

Matt's talk "A parasitological primer: the ten general rules of parasitism and parasitology" Lec 1

TentativeWeek 2, Introduction: what is a Symbiosis (ABP Introduction: 1-7)
Matt’s talk “Overview of common types of parasite life cycles and weird parasites”

Week 3, Arms Races (ABP Chapter 1: 8-20)

Week 4, How Does One Become a Parasite? (ABP Chapter 2: 21-40)

Week 5, The Profession of Parasites (ABP Chapter 3: 41-72)

Week 6, The Profession of Parasite (ABP Chapter 3: 72-102)

Week 7, The Profession of Host (ABP Chapter 4: 103-123)

Week 8, The Profession of Mutualist (ABP Chapter 5: 124-154)

Week 9, Alice and the Red Queen (ABP Chapter 6: 155-174)

Week 10, Sexual Selection and Parasitism (ABP Chapter 7: 175-190)

Week 11, Parasites in Space and Time (ABP Chapter 8: 191-212)

Week 12, Parasites in Space and Time (ABP Chapter 8: 212-234)
Student Talks

Week, 13, Emerging Diseases and the (ABP Chapter 9: 235-250)
Future Arms Race
Student Talks

Week, 14, Conclusion of course
Student Talks

Week 4, H