Department of Biological Science
My research is in the area of parasite ecology. I am interested in how various aspects of host and parasite biology, as well as environmental factors, interact to structure parasite assemblages in host individuals, populations, and communities. This has led me to work with communities of larval trematodes in freshwater snails and helminth assemblages in amphibians. I am currently working most on communities of parasitic worms in fishes from various habitats in southeast Texas. My current interest in invasive species involves the invasive snail Melanoides tuberculatus and its role as intermediate host to parasitic trematode worms (Phylum Platyhelminthes). This snail now occurs widely in Texas and is known to be molluscan host to, the also introduced, Centrocestus formosanus. This digenetic trematode is known to induce pathogenesis in the gills of several species of freshwater fish which serve as its second intermediate host. Centrocestus formosanus completes its lifecycle in piscivorous birds.