"What makes a successful parasite?"
We are interested in uncovering the strategies parasites have evolved to cope with the challenges and opportunities of their lifestyle.
Our focus is malaria (Plasmodium) parasites. Malaria parasites and their relatives cause some of the most serious infectious diseases of humans, domestic animals, livestock, and wildlife. They are also extremely interesting creatures and make a useful model system.
Our aim is to interrogate how parasites work to better understand how natural selection operates and provide insight into how infectious diseases can be better treated. We are a multi-disciplinary team based in the Institute of Evolutionary Biology, part of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. We use techniques and concepts from diverse fields, including: evolutionary theory, ecology, parasitology, immunology, chronobiology, behavioural ecology, genomics, epidemiology, mathematical modelling, cell and molecular biology, entomology and biophysics.
Our research questions focus on:
- life history strategies
- reproductive investment
- sex allocation
- phenotypic plasticity,
- biological rhythms in infections
- social interactions
- mating behaviours
- consequences of vector control