Wallace Coffee Talks - Spring 2019
26 March - 1pm - Zoology Museum
An insight into the field of Ancient DNA
During this short talk, I will provide an overview of the field of aDNA and present a few case studies from my PhD research on how I used aDNA to explore the evolution and extinction of the great auk.
Untangling effects of size, habitat and invertebrate biodiversity on parasite prevalence of the Caribbean spiny lobster
The spiny lobster Panulirus argus is an important benthic mesopredator and a major fishing resource across the Wider Caribbean region. This species is host to a range of diseases, including the pathogenic virus PaV1 and metacercariae of Cymatocarpus solearis, a digenean trematode whose first intermediate host remains unknown. Studies have found that the probability of infection with diseases can change between densely and sparsely vegetated habitats, suggesting that marine vegetation can be a reservoir for disease. To increase insight into the role of habitat in the ecology of lobster diseases, the presence of both C. solearis and PaV1 was investigated in P. argus across different habitat types in the Mexican Caribbean. Habitat complexity, benthic component cover and macroinvertebrate biodiversity were characterised in each zone. I present some results, and talk about the importance of linking host surroundings, as well as host characteristics, to disease.