Title: "Examining the Natural and Anthropogenic Drivers Affecting Host-Parasite Interactions in Marine Systems"
Speaker: Dr. Katrina Lohan, Marine Disease Ecology Laboratory, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Abstract: Marine parasites perform pivotal functions in coastal ecosystems including the trophic transfer of energy and mediating competitive interactions between species. The most conspicuous impact of marine parasites is disease, which can alter populations and communities causing subsequent impacts on ecosystem function. As outbreaks of infectious diseases continue to increase in marine environments, using the latest technological advances to understand disease emergence, spread, and the interactions among and between parasites and host communities is imperative. My research examines these interactions and the natural and anthropogenic drivers that alter them across multiple host phyla in natural ecosystems. More specifically, I will discuss examples from my work of the (1) effects of host specificity on disease, (2) effects of biodiversity on disease, and (3) the anthropogenic dispersal of parasites.