For pdfs of our publications, please click the paper titles.
Birget, P. L., Repton, C., O'Donnell, A. J., Schneider, P., & Reece, S. E. (2017) Phenotypic plasticity in reproductive effort: malaria parasites respond to resource availability Proc. R. Soc. B (Vol. 284, No. 1860, p. 20171229)
Examines how and why the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi alters its reproductive effort in response to experimental perturbations of the density and age structure of RBCs
Birget, P. L.G., Greischar, M., Reece, S. E. and Mideo, N. (2017) Altered life-history strategies protect malaria parasites against drugs Evol Appl. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/eva.12516
Ramiro, R. S., Pollitt, L. C., Mideo, N. & Reece, S. E. (2016) Facilitation through altered resource availability in a mixed-species rodent malaria infection Ecology Letters, doi: 10.1111/ele.12639
Outlines how resource limitations can shape how parasite species interact within a co-infection and the epidemiological consequences of these interactions
Rund, S.S.C., O’Donnell, A.J., Gentile, J.E. & Reece, S.E. (2016) Daily Rhythms in Mosquitoes and Their Consequences for Malaria Transmission. Insects, 7, 14.
Outlines new hypotheses for how daily rhythms in mosquitoes affects their capacity to transmit malaria parasites.
Carter L.M., Pollitt L.C., Wilson L.G. & Reece S.E. (2016) Ecological influences on the behaviour and fertility of malaria parasites. Malaria Journal, 15, 220. doi:10.1186/s12936-016-1271-0
Examines how aspects of the physical and chemical environment experienced in the mosquito blood meal affects the ability of parasites to mate and suggest that male gametes are attracted to females by chemotaxis.
Greischar M.A, Reece S.E. & Mideo N. (2016) The role of models in translating within-host dynamics to parasite evolution. Parasitology, 143.07, 905-914.
Discusses how and why mathematical models are important for understanding the impact of infection processes for parasite evolution.
Schneider P., Reece S.E.♯, van Schaijk B., Bousema T., Lanke K.H.W., Meaden C.S.J., Gadalla A., Ranford-Cartwright L.C. & Babiker H.♯ (2015) Quantification of male and female Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes by reverse-transcriptase quantitative PCR. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology doi:10.1016/j.molbiopara.2015.03.006 ♯equal contributions
Presents new assays to separately count the number of male and female gametocytes of the human malaria parasite, P. falciparum.
Ramiro R.S., Khan S.M., Franke-Fayed B., Janse C.J., Obbard D.J., & Reece S.E. (2015) Hybridisation and pre-zygotic reproductive barriers in Plasmodium. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 282: 20143027. doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.3027
Demonstrates that low levels of hybridization between different parasite species can occur and identifies some of the molecules involved in preventing this in nature.
Reece S.E. & Mideo N. (2014). Malaria parasites prepare for flight. Trends in Parasitology, 30(12), 551-553
Highlights a paper demonstrating that malaria parasites detect when mosquitoes bite their host and respond by investing in transmission.
Carter L.M., Schneider P. and Reece S.E. (2014) Information use and plasticity in the reproductive decisions of malaria parasites. Malaria Journal, 13:115. doi:10.1186/1475-2875-13-115.
Narrows down the search for the information that malaria parasites use during infections to make decisions about investing in gametocytes (sexual stages) and their sex ratio.
Leggett H.C., Brown S.P. and Reece S.E. (2014). War and peace: social interactions in infections. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. doi:369:20130365. Evolutionary Applications Article
Review of how parasites and microbial pathogens interact during infections and the implications for the severity and transmission of disease.
O’Donnell A.J., Mideo N. and Reece S.E. (2013) Disrupting rhythms in Plasmodium chabaudi: costs accrue quickly and independently of how infections are initiated. Malaria Journal, 12:372. doi:10.1186/1475-2875-12-372.
Asks whether parasites matched to the host's circadian rhythm are better able to establish infections than mismatched parasites
A correction has been published for this article: O’Donnell A.J., Mideo N. and Reece S.E. (2014) Correction: Disrupting rhythms in Plasmodium chabaudi: costs accrue quickly and independently of how infections are initiated. Malaria Journal, 13:503. doi:10.1186/1475-2875-13-503.
Fuller W.J., Godley B.J., Hodgson D.J., Reece S.E., Witt M.J. and Broderick A.C. (2013) The importance of spatio-temporal data for predicting the effects of climate change on marine turtle sex ratios. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 488:267-274. doi:10.3354/meps10419.
Assesses the impact of climate change on species with temperature-dependent sex determination and the need for accurate data to predict these effects.
Viney M. and Reece S.E. (2013) Adaptive noise. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 280, 20131104. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1104.
Review: Sources for, and adaptation of, noise in gene expression.
Wilson L.G., Carter L.M. and Reece S.E. (2013) High-speed holographic microscopy of malaria parasites reveals ambidextrous flagellar waveforms. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi:10.1073/pnas.1309934110.
Development of a new technique to study swimming male gametes, and insights into their mating behaviours.
Carter L.M., Kafsack B.F.C., Llinás M., Mideo N., Pollitt L.C. and Reece S.E. (2013) Stress and Sex in Malaria Parasites: Why Does Commitment Vary? Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health. doi:10.1093/emph/eot011.
Applying evolutionary theory to explain why parasite vary their level of investment into gametocytes (sexual stages) during infectgions
Pollitt L.C., Churcher T.S., Dawes E.J., Khan S.M., Sajid M., Basáñez M.G., Colegrave N. and Reece S.E. (2013) Costs of crowding for the transmission of malaria parasites. Evolutionary Applications. doi:10.1111/eva.12048.
Demonstrates that parasites show density dependence in the productivity and virulence of malaria infections in mosquitoes.
Mideo N., Reece S.E., Smith A. and Metcalf C.J.E. (2013) The Cinderella Syndrome: Why do malaria-infected cells burst at midnight? Trends in Parasitology, 29: 10-16. doi:10.1016/j.pt.2012.10.006.
Discusses the potential advantages to the host and the parasite of daily rhythms in parasite development.
Ramiro R.S., Reece S.E. and Obbard D.J. (2012) Molecular evolution and phylogenetics of rodent malaria parasites. BMC Evolutionary Biology 12:219. doi: 10.1186/1471-2148-12-219.
Creates a phylogeny (family tree) of rodent malaria species.
Khan S.M., #Reece S.E., Waters A.P., Janse C.J. and Kaczanowski S. (2012) Why are male malaria parasites in such a rush? Sex-specific evolution and host-parasite interactions. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health. doi:10.1093/emph/eos00.
equal contributions; #corresponding author
Reveals that genes expressed exclusively in male gametocytes evolve more quickly than those in females.
Schneider P., Bell A.S., Sim D.G., O'Donnell A.J., Blanford S., Paaijmans K.P., Read A.F. and Reece S.E. (2012) Virulence, drug sensitivity and transmission success in the rodent malaria, Plasmodium chabaudi. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B. doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.1792.
Drug treatment selects for the evolution of more harmful parasite strains.
Cameron A., Reece S.E., Drew D.R., Haydon D.T. and Yates A.J. (2012) Plasticity in transmission strategies of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium chabaudi: environmental and genetic effects. Evolutionary Applications, doi:10.1111/eva.12005.
Shows that parasite investment in gametocytes (sexual stages) correlates with host anaemia and varies across parasite strains.
Pollitt L.C., Reece S.E., Mideo N., Nussey D.H. and Colegrave N. (2012) The problem of autocorrelation in parasitology. PLoS Pathogens, 8(4): e1002590. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002590.
Illustrates that incorrect biological inference can result from analysing parasite dynamics during infections when temporal autocorrelation is not controlled for.
Mideo N., Acosta-Serrano A., Aebischer T., Brown M.J.F., Fenton A., Friman V-P., Restif O., Reece S.E., Webster J.P. and Brown S.P. (2012) Life in cells, hosts, and vectors: parasite evolution across scales. Infection, Genetics & Immunity 13: 344-7. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2012.03.016.
Summarises diverse studies to illustrate how parasite fitness is determined by processes acting across different levels of biological organization.
Staszewski V., *Reece S.E., O'Donnell A.J. and Cunningham E.J.A. (2012) Drug treatment of malaria infections can reduce levels of protection transferred to offspring via maternal immunity. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B online February 22. doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.156. equal contributions
Shows that giving antimalarial drugs to pregnant mice can make their offspring more vulnerable to malaria than if mothers are untreated.
Mideo N. and Reece S.E. (2012) Plasticity in parasite phenotypes: evolutionary and ecological implications for disease. Future Microbiology, 7(1): 17-24. doi:10.2217/fmb.11.134.
Outlines work from the lab showing that parasites have flexible strategies that help them maintain fitness in the changing environment they experience inside the host.
Reece S.E., Pollitt L.C., Colegrave N. and Gardner A. (2011) The meaning of death: evolution and ecology of apoptosis in protozoan parasites. PLoS Pathogens, 7(12): e1002320. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002320.
Outlines circumstances in which a suicide of parasites is consistent with Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’
Mideo N., Savill N.J., Chadwick W., Schneider P., Read A.F., Day T. and Reece S.E. (2011) Causes of variation in malaria infection dynamics: insights from theory and data. American Naturalist, 178(6): E174-E188. doi:10.1086/662670.
Supplementary information A and Supplementary information B.
Combines mathematical models and data to explore whether variation in traits that underpin how parasites exploit their host can explain why some parasite strains are more harmful than others.
Mideo N., Nelson W.A., Reece S.E., Bell A.S, Read A.F. and Day T. (2011) Bridging Scales in the Evolution of Infectious Disease Life Histories: Application. Evolution, 65(11): 3298-3310. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01382.x.
Combines mathematical models and data to link within-infection processes to population (epidemiological) processes to predict parasite evolution.
Innocent T.M., West S.A., Sanderson J.L., Hyrkkanen N. and Reece S.E. (2011) Lethal combat over limited resources: testing the importance of competitors and kin. Behavioural Ecology, 22(5): 923-931. doi:10.1093/brheco/arq209.
Parasitoid wasp paper: examines ecological and evolutionary forces that favour extreme aggression between relatives
Kaczanowski S., Sajid M. and Reece S.E. (2011) The evolution of apoptosis-like programmed cell death in unicellular protozoan parasites. Parasites & Vectors, 4(1): 44. doi:10.1186/1756-3305-4-44.
Explores the evolutionary history of genes associated with ‘suicide’ in single celled parasites.
Pollitt L.C., MacGregor P., Matthews K. and Reece S.E. (2011) Malaria and trypanosome transmission: different parasites, same rules? Trends in Parasitology, 27(5): 197-203. doi:10.1016/j.pt.2011.01.004.
Applies evolutionary theory to predict how within-host environment influences the trade-off between survival and transmission in different parasite taxa.
Pollitt L.C., Mideo N.L., Drew D.R., Schneider P., Colegrave N., Khan S.M., Sajid M. and Reece S.E. (2011) Competition and the evolution of reproductive restraint in malaria parasites. American Naturalist, 177(3): 358-367. doi:10.1086/658175.
Reveals that parasites respond to the presence of competing strains in the host by reducing investment in sexual stages in the manner predicted to increase their competitive ability.
Ramiro R.S., Alpedrinha J., Carter L., Gardner A and Reece S.E. (2011) Sex and death: the effects of innate immune factors on the sexual reproduction of malaria parasites. PLoS Pathogens, 7:3, e1001309. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1001309.
Shows that host immune factors affect the survival and fertility of male and female transmission stages in different ways and develops theory to predict how these effects shape the evolution of parasite reproductive strategies.
Abbot et al. with 137 authors. (2011) Inclusive fitness theory and eusociality. Nature 471, E1-E4. doi:10.1038/nature09831.
Comment arguing that understanding relatedness between interacting organisms provides insight into the evolution of social behaviours.
Culleton R.L., Inoue M., Reece S.E., Cheeseman S. and Carter R. (2011) Strain-specific immunity to the pre-erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium chabaudi. Parasite Immunology, 33(1): 73-8. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3024.2010.01251.x.
Demonstrates that immunity to incoming parasites, injected from the mosquito, is strongest against strains the host has already been exposed to.
O'Donnell A.J., Schneider P., McWatters H.G. and Reece S.E. (2011) The fitness costs of disrupting circadian rhythms in malaria parasites. Proceedings of the Royal Society London B. doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.2457
Research highlight microbiology (Nature)
Reveals that malaria parasites suffer reduced replication in the host and lower transmission to mosquitoes when their development rhythm is mismatched to the circadian rhythm of the host.
Pollitt L.C., Colegrave N., Khan S.M., Sajid M. and Reece S.E. (2010) Investigating the evolution of apoptosis in malaria parasites: the importance of ecology. Parasites & Vectors 105. doi:10.1186/1756-3305-3-105.
Outlines evolutionary explanations for why parasites might commit ‘suicide’ and illustrates the difficulties of testing these ideas.
Reece S.E., Ali E., Schneider P. and Babiker H.A. (2010) Stress, drugs and the evolution of reproductive restraint in malaria parasites. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 277(1697): 3123-3129. doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.0564.
Drug-sensitive, but not drug-resistant, human malaria parasites decrease their investment in sexual stages when exposed to low doses of drugs, showing parasites respond to changes in their proliferation rate rather the presence of drugs.
Abe J., Innocent T.M., Reece S.E. and West S.A. (2010) Virginity and the clutch size behaviour of a parasitoid wasp. Behavioural Ecology, 21(4): 730-738. doi:10.1093/beheco/arq046.
Parasitoid wasp paper: shows that females can determine whether other females competing for the same resources have mated or not.
Innocent T.M., Abe J., West S.A. and Reece S.E. (2010) Competition between relatives and the evolution of dispersal. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 23(7): 1374-85. doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.02015.x.
Parasitoid wasp paper: examines how different levels of competition for resources between related and non-related females influence the dispersal rate of their offspring.
Savill N.J., Chadwick W. and Reece S.E. (2009) Quantitative analysis of mechanisms that govern red blood cell age structure and dynamics during anaemia. PLoS Computational Biology, 5(6): e1000416. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000416.
Combines mathematical models and data to evaluate hypotheses for maintaining equilibrium in red blood cell populations.
Reece S.E., Ramiro R.S. and Nussey D.H.N. (2009) Plastic parasites: sophisticated strategies for survival and reproduction? Evolutionary Applications, 2(1): 11-23. doi:10.1111/j.1752-4571.2008.00060.x.
Discusses the evolution of flexible strategies for surviving in the host and transmitting to mosquitoes.
Schneider P., Chan B.H.K, Reece S.E. and Read A.F. (2008). Does the drug sensitivity of malaria parasites depend on their virulence? Malaria Journal, 7(257). doi:10.1186/1475-2875-7-257. Commentary Stein (Trends in Parasitology)
More harmful parasite strains are better able to survive treatment with antimalarial drugs.
Reece S.E. and Thompson J. (2008) Transformation of the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium chabaudi and generation of stable fluorescent lines. Malaria Journal, 7(183). doi:10.1038/nprot.2011.313.
Demonstrates that the rodent malaria P. chabaudi can be genetically modified.
Babiker H.A., Schneider P. and Reece S.E. (2008) Gametocytes: Insights gained during a decade of molecular monitoring. Trends in Parasitology, 24(11): 525-530. doi:10.1016/j.pt.2008.08.001.
Reviews recent discoveries made about the production and sex ratio of sexual, transmission, stages.
Reece S.E., Drew D.R. and Gardner A. (2008) Sex ratio adjustment and kin discrimination in malaria parasites. Nature, 453 609-615. doi:10.1038/nature06954. Supplementary info
Commentaries: Schall (Nature); Knowles and Sheldon (Current Biology); Schall(Trends in Parasitology).
Demonstrates that sex ratio is an important fitness-determining trait for parasites and that they adjust their sex allocation in response to the presence of unrelated strains sharing the host in a surprisingly precise manner.
Drew D.R. and Reece S.E. (2007) Development of reverse transcription PCR techniques to analyse the density and sex ratio of gametocytes in genetically diverse Plasmodium chabaudi infections. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology, 156(2): 199-209. doi:10.1016/j.molbiopara.2007.08.004.
Presents new methods to quantify the numbers of male and female transmission stages for the rodent malaria species, P. chabaudi.
Reece S.E., Innocent T.M. and West S.A. (2007) Lethal combat in the parasitoid, Melittobia acasta: are size and competitive environment important? Animal Behaviour, 18(4): 709-715. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2006.10.027.
Parasitoid wasp paper: examines individual and ecological factors shaping the evolution of extremely aggressive behaviour.
Innocent T.M., West S.A. and Reece S.E. (2007) Lethal male-male combat and sex ratio evolution in a parasitoid wasp. Behavioural Ecology, 18: 709-715. doi:10.1093/beheco/arm034.
Parasitoid wasp paper: examines whether lethal combat between closely related males over access to mates explains the unusual sex ratios observed in this species.
Augustijn K.D., Kleemann R., Thompson J., Kooistra T., Crawford C.E., Reece S.E., Pain A., Siebum A.H.G., Janse C.J. and Waters A.P. (2007) Functional characterization of the Plasmodium homologue of Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor. Infection & Immunity, 75(3): 1116-1128. doi:10.1128/IAI.00902-06.
Examines whether malaria parasites produce a molecule that mimics part of the host’s immune response to manipulate the action of immune responses against the parasite.
Shuker D.M., Reece S.E., Lee A., Graham A., Duncan A.B. and West S.A. (2007) Information use in space and time: sex allocation behaviour in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis. Animal Behaviour, 73: 971-977. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2006.07.013.
Parasitoid wasp paper: demonstrates that females are able to evaluate the number of other females competing for resources.
Reece S.E., Wherry R.N. and Bloor J.M.G. (2005) Sex allocation and interactions between relatives in the bean beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus. Biological Processes, 70: 282-288. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2005.08.002.
Beetle paper: examines whether females adjust the sex ratio of their offspring in the manner predicted by evolutionary theory.
Shutler D., Reece S.E., Mullie A., Billingsly P.F. and Read A.F. (2005) Rodent malaria parasites Plasmodium chabaudi and P. vinckei do not increase rates of gametocytogensis in reponse to mosquito probing. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 272: 2397-2402. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2004.0260.
Reveals that, contrary to expectation, parasites do not preferentially invest into transmission when mosquitos are available to vector them.
Shuker D.M., Pen I., Duncan A.B., Reece S.E. and West S.A. (2005) Sex ratios under asymmetrical local mate competition: theory and a test with parasitoid wasps. American Naturalist, 166(3): 301-316. doi:10.1093/beheco/arj034.
Parasitoid wasp paper: shows that females consider the state of their local environment before making decisions about what offspring sex ratio to produce.
Reece S.E., Duncan A.B., West S.A. and Read A.F. (2005) Host cell preference and variable transmission strategies in malaria parasites. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 272: 511-517. doi:10.1098/rspb.2004.2972.
Demonstrates that parasite species respond differently to host anaemia in terms of their investment in sexual, transmission, stages.
Shuker D.M., Reece S.E., Whitehorn P.R. and West S.A. (2004) Sib-mating does not lead to facultative sex ratio adjustment in the parasitoid wasp, Nasonia vitripennis. Evolutionary Ecology Research, 6(3): 473-480.
Parasitoid wasp paper: demonstrates that females are not able to discriminate brothers from unrelated mates when making reproductive decisions.
Shuker D.M., Reece S.E., Taylor J.A.L. and West S.A. (2004) Wasp sex ratio behaviour when females on a patch are related. Animal Behaviour, 68: 331-336. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2003.12.003.
Parasitoid wasp paper: demonstrates that females are not able to discriminate sisters from non-kin when making reproductive decisions.
Reece S.E., Shuker D.M., Pen I., Duncan A.B., Choudhary A., Batchelor C.M. and West S.A. (2004) Kin discrimination and sex ratios in a parasitoid wasp. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 17, 208-216. doi:10.1046/j.1420-9101.2003.00640.x.
Parasitoid wasp paper: demonstrates that females are not able to discriminate brothers from unrelated mates when making reproductive decisions.
Reece S.E., Duncan A.B., West S.A. and Read A.F. (2003) Sex ratios in the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium chabaudi. Parasitology, 127: 419-425. doi:10.1017/S0031182003004013. Colour figures
Demonstrates that traditional methods for sexing male and female transmission stages can overestimate the proportion that are females and quantifies sex-specific mortality rates.
West S.A., Reece S.E. and Read A.F. (2003) Toxoplasma gondii, Sex and premature rejection. Trends in Parasitology, 19: 155-157. doi:10.1016/S1471-4922(03)00033-3.
Reply to comment on Evolution of gametocyte sex ratios in malaria and related apicomplexan (protozoan) parasites.
Gardner A., Reece S.E., and West S.A. (2003) Even more extreme fertility insurance and the sex ratios of protozoan blood parasites. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 223: 515-521. doi:10.1016/S0022-5193(03)00142-5.
Develops theory to predict how parasites should invest in male versus female transmission stages according to the fecundity of males and overall numbers of sexual stages.
Reece S.E., Broderick A.C., Godley B.J. and West S.A. (2002) The effects of incubation environment, sex and pedigree on hatchling phenotype in a natural population of loggerhead sea turtles. Evolutionary Ecology Research, 4: 737-748.
Tests evolutionary theory to explain why the sex of sea turtles is determined by temperature.
West S.A., Reece S.E. and Sheldon B.C. (2002) Sex ratios. Heredity, 89: 117-124. doi:10.1038/sj/hdy/6800018.
Outlines the state of affairs of research into offspring sex ratios.
Godley B.J., Broderick A.C., Downie J.R., Glen F., Hays G.C., Houghton J., Kirkwood I. and Reece S.E. (2001) Thermal conditions in nests of loggerhead turtles: further evidence suggesting skewed sex ratios of hatchling production in the Mediterranean. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 263: 45-63.
Details patterns of temperature fluctuations in sea turtle nests and the links with hatching success and sex ratio.
West S.A., Reece S.E. and Read A.F. (2001) Evolution of gametocyte sex ratios in malaria and related apicomplexan (protozoan) parasites. Trends in Parasitology, 17: 525-531. doi:10.1016/S1471-4922(01)02058-X.
Reviews research into the ratio of male to female sexual stages and explores evolutionary explanations for why a high proportion of females is common.
Reece S.E. and Read A.F. (2000) Malaria sex ratios. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 15: 259-260. doi:10.1016/S0169-5347(00)01893-0.
Comment on research showing that parasites adjust the ratio of male to female sexual stages in response to host anaemia.
Broderick A.C., Godley B.J., Reece S.E. and Downie J.R. (2000) Incubation periods and sex ratios of green turtles: highly female biased hatchling production in the eastern Mediterranean. Marine Ecological Proceedings, 202: 273-281. doi:10.3354/meps202273.
Estimates the sex ratios of sea turtle hatchlings and characterises the relationship between temperature and sex ratio.