Parasites & Host Animals with Six Legs
by Dr. Matthew G. Bolek, Oklahoma State University
Matthew G. Bolek, Associate Professor
Department of Integrative Biology, Oklahoma State University
Ph.D., 2006, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Phone: 405 744-9675
My research interests are in the area of parasite ecology, evolution of parasite life cycles, and parasite taxonomy. I utilize parasites of amphibians and aquatic invertebrates in order to investigate parasite ecology and evolution because lower vertebrates and invertebrates have invaded a multitude of micro-habitats and exhibit a striking diversity of life histories, reproductive strategies, body sizes, foraging modes, and trophic relations. They serve as both intermediate and definitive hosts and their parasite fauna is diverse. Therefore, these hosts provide a good model for studying biotic and abiotic ecological factors that determine parasite species’ distribution, abundance, and movements through ecosystems. This system enables our laboratory to investigate questions of how host and parasite life histories co-evolve, and affect parasite community structure, parasite biogeography, and distribution in time and space.