Parasite Ecology Internship

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 Intern 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. Interns 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 intern will be a part of the larger SML Research Internship cohort and will participate in weekly discussions and lectures.

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.

Internship Mentor:
Dr. April Blakeslee (Assistant Professor, East Carolina University)

Dates: June 3 – August 11, 2019 (10 weeks)

SML Research Symposium: August 10, 2019

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

One intern will be selected.

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


Photo of a green crab in the lab

Green crab (Carcinus maenas) in the lab


To apply:

The 2020 application is not yet available. Please check back at the end of November for further details.

  • 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.

Email Dr. David Buck