Pets and Parasite Diversity

Michael Sukhdeo (Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources)

In nature, parasites have the most common feeding strategy of all animal forms, and they utilize diverse strategies to extract resources from their hosts. We think of parasites in terms of the diseases they cause in humans, in our pets, and in our domestic animals. However, over the last decade, there have been many studies that try to include parasites into the ecology of food webs, and these new ideas have altered our thinking on the treatment of parasites. This seminar will focus on the diversity of parasites of our pets and wildlife. There will be field trips to domestic animal farms, to ponds and to the ocean to collect parasites. There will be hands-on labs where students will learn standard parasitological techniques in worm recovery and identification, including necropsies and fecal analyses. Short mini-lectures on parasites in the context of natural systems and their basic biology will preface every meeting.

Course Number: 
11:090:101 section 14 index 09389