Parasite Ecology

Due to funding sources, the 2020 Parasite Ecology undergraduate research position is available only to students from George Mason University or Emory University. Applications received from other universities will not be considered.  Please check back next year for additional opportunities for parasite research at SML.

Project overview:
The Isles of Shoals represent an exceptional location for exploring parasite diversity in multi-host parasite systems (particularly trematode parasites) that include intertidal invertebrates and shorebirds. Previous work at Shoals Marine Laboratory has resulted in interesting patterns in parasite prevalence of intermediate hosts around the islands, as well as influences on host foraging behavior and physiology. The Parasite Ecology Undergraduate Researcher will collect parasite diversity data in invertebrate hosts on Appledore Island, assist with experiments that induce infection in intermediate hosts, and explore host behavior in the lab and the field. The researcher will learn how to identify trematode parasite species using a microscope, how to induce an infection gradient in host crabs, set-up and run behavior and predation experiments, and can use what they learn from this and past work to design a related project. The researcher will be a part of the larger Shoals Undergraduate Research Group cohort and will participate in weekly discussions and lectures.

Prerequisites:
Previous coursework in ecology and marine biology is recommended. Previous experience at SML is preferred, but not required. Relevant SML courses include: Ecology & the Marine Environment, Evolution & Marine Diversity, Field Marine Invertebrate Biology, and the Shoals Research Apprenticeship.

Project Mentor:
Dr. April Blakeslee (Assistant Professor, East Carolina University)
Dr. Amy Fowler (Assistant Professor, George Mason University)
Dr. Carolyn Keogh (Lecturer, Emory College)

Dates: June 3 – August 9, 2020 (10 weeks)

SML Research Symposium: August 8, 2020

Stipend: $150/week
Includes room & board for 10 weeks, and roundtrip vessel transportation from Portsmouth, NH to Appledore Island. Researchers are responsible for their own transportation to/from Portsmouth, NH at the beginning and end of the program.

One researcher will be selected.
 

2017 Parasite Ecology Researcher:
Collin Love (Michigan State Univ. '18)

 

Photo of a green crab in the lab

Green crab (Carcinus maenas) in the lab

 

To apply:

APPLY HERE

  • Application deadline: February 17, 5:00 PM EST
  • Applicants should be prepared to upload (as separate files): cover letter, resume/CV, and unofficial transcripts.
  • Request two letters of recommendation. At least one letter must be from a professor/faculty member. The second can be from a graduate student TA or employer.
  • Undergraduates in all majors may apply.
  • Priority is given to students who have previous SML experience.

Questions?
Email Dr. David Buck
(david.buck@unh.edu)