I didn’t go to all of the parasite ecology talks at ESA 2015, and I can’t even fit all the ones that I went to into one blog post. But for those of you who weren’t there – and for those who were but just want to revel in your memories of awesome ESA 2015 parasite ecology – this post contains some of my favorites. Go check out the abstracts and keep an eye out for the upcoming papers!
I really enjoyed the session on models and mechanisms of fungal disease. The highlights for me were:
- Alex Strauss’ talk on the ways that habitat, predators, and host diversity affect fungal epidemics in Daphnia (SEM happened!) Also, Alex was the Runner Up in the parasite cartoon contest!
- Cherie Briggs’ talk on whether host density affects chytrid transmission in mountain yellow-legged frogs, and whether a typical density dependent transmission model can give rise to data that don’t show density effects
- Jessica Hite’s talk about how fungal parasites mediate competition between juvenile and adult Daphnia, leading to a change from out-of-phase to in-phase juvenile and adult population cycles and thus destabilizing host population dynamics
- Joseph Hoyt’s talk about bat contacts, bat sociality, and white-nose syndrome, where he used fluorescent powder to keep track of bat contacts
I also saw a bunch of great talks in other sessions. Some of my favorites were:
- Sara Weinstein’s talk about rats and raccoon roundworm transmission. Also, Sara was the Honorable Mention in the parasite cartoon contest!
- T’ai Roulston’s talk about whether parasites cause bumblebees to “camp” out on flowers at night, instead of staying in the nest. (I’m going to try to blog more about this soon!)
- Ben Van Allen’s talk about how cannibalism can reduce virus transmission in the fall army worm, and maybe in many other systems, too?
- And of course Kevin Lafferty’s talk about how a new general consumer resource model can be used for all predators, parasites, and micropredators. (I’ll try to blog this one soon, too!)
- Max Joseph’s talk covered a few topics, including this intriguing question: how should we model symbiont transmission, and how does our choice of model affect the relationship between diversity and disease (i.e., dilution effect)?
- Fletcher Halliday’s talk about the role of resource availability (and thus host community structure) on parasite richness and abundance – for PLANT parasites. That’s right. You can’t call me a taxa-ist if I include at least one plant talk. 😉
There have you have it! Click through to read those abstracts!