Dispersal of penguin parasites
Penguin parasites present an intriguing system for studying dispersal, evolution and host-parasite relationships. Although the fleas, ticks and lice that parasitise penguins are terrestrial, penguins spend much of their time at sea - do their parasites travel with them, surviving long periods of inundation and high pressure during dives, or are they restricted to nesting sites on land? If the latter, are penguin parasite populations poorly connected, or can the parasites travel among penguin colonies via flying seabirds? This project aims to address these, and other questions, using genetic and physiological approaches.
Katie Moon, PhD student
Katie is studying population connectivity, host specificity, physiology and genetic / species diversity in ticks affecting penguins (Australia, New Zealand, and sub-Antarctic islands). For more information, see Katie's web page by clicking here.