I am always happy to discuss potential research projects with graduate and undergraduate students. In some cases, Independent Study or Honour's projects can arise as a component of summer employment opportunities in my lab. I also have a long history of co-supervising undergraduate research projects with colleagues based at the Lethbridge Research Station, especially Dr. Doug Colwell and Dr. Kevin Floate. Many of the examples of previous Independent Studies that I list below arose from initial expressions of interest from keen students.

I am currently requesting letters of inquiry for two graduate students (M.Sc. or Ph.D.) to work in the lab starting September, 2016. There is one project available to work on mechanisms of altered behaviour in zombie ants infected with larvae of Dicrocoelium, and another to work on interactions between host behaviour, host immunity, and multi-parasitism in our minnow/trematode system.  

Examples of previous Independent Studies in the lab:

  • Flower choice in zombie ants infected with larvae of Dicrocoelium dendriticum
  • Host-related and between-lake variation in prevalence and intensity of Ichthyocotylurus erraticus metacercariae in lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis).
  • Growth and reproduction of a generalist parasite in alternative hosts: Dicrocoelium dendriticum in sheep versus cattle.
  • Interactions between falciparum malaria and HIV: a literature review
  • Variation of larval fluke (Dicrocoelium dendriticum) intensity in Formica spp. ants: effects of site and size
  • Phylogeography of land snails, Oreohelix spp., in Cypress Hills Provincial Park, AB
  • Tardigrade biodiversity and density on mosses from fescue grasslands in southern Albert
  • Antibody imaging and confocal microscopy of the tegument of the trematode Dicrocoelium dendriticum
  • Paleolimnology of Tyrrell Lake sediments
  • GI parasites of sheep in Alberta
  • Spatial variation of defense morphology of zooplankton in Waterton Lakes
  • Histology of a brain-encysting parasites of fathead minnows

Ideas for Independent Studies in the lab:

  • Behaviour of minnows infected with two species of trematode larvae: A test of the hitchhiker hypothesis
  • The ‘devil’s dance’: Behavioural attraction of trematode larvae towards host versus non-host snails
  • Behaviour of Hyallela (Amphipoda) infected with a larval acanthocephalan
  • Overwinter survival of nematode larvae of horses on Alberta pasture
  • Swimming performance of trematode-infected minnows in an experimental flume
  • Thermal tolerance of minnows infected with a brain-encysting trematode