Parasite Ecology Internship

The Parasite Ecology Program is not being offered in 2024.

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.


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: TBD (10 weeks)

SML Research Symposium: TBD

Stipend: $1500
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.

To Apply

  • Application Deadline: TBD
  • 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.

Note for international students: International students studying in the United States under an F-1 visa are eligible to work as a research intern at SML. Before applying, we encourage students to confirm with their academic institution about their eligibility for off-campus employment through a Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or other comparable program. Students not currently studying in the United States can also apply for a research internship but will be required to secure their own J-1 visa. Information on third-party assistance for J-1 applications can be found at the following website: