Disease ecologists are interested in how parasites – organisms that make their home in or on another larger animal – are distributed, and how they exert an influence on the natural world. Parasites are implicated in regulating predator-prey population cycles, nutrient cycling, animal reproduction, speciation, social behavior and much more.
My research on parasites at the Los Amigos Research Station in Peru began in 2012 with a focus on two primate species, the saddleback (Saguinus weddelli) and emperor tamarin (Saguinus imperator). Since then, I have expanded my research to include the entire primate community – all 11 species. Over the next few years I anticipate further expansions of this program to incorporate terrestrial mammals, bats, and birds, to study parasites on as many trophic levels as possible.