Research interests in our research group

Host-parasite interactions are predominant biological interactions in nature with parasites showing unparalleled species diversity and variation in life history traits and transmission pathways. Complex life-cycle parasites need more than one host species to complete their life-cycle. Consequently, a range of interacting factors may influence infection patterns in the wild, and many different players are taking part in the game. Often, these parasites also undergo phases of both sexual and asexual reproduction, depending on the specific life stage, which also differ dramatically in morphology and ecology. This makes analyses of these systems tricky and complex, but represents an interesting challenge for evolutionary ecologists. Due to their peculiar lifestyle of living on expense of others, parasites may also impose strong selection on their hosts resulting in a range of ecological and evolutionary consequences.

Selected publications

Karvonen, A., Wagner, C.E., Selz, O.M., Seehausen, O. (2018). Divergent parasite infections in sympatric cichlid species in Lake Victoria. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 31, 1313-1329.

Behringer, D., Karvonen, A., Bojko, J. (2018). Parasite avoidance behaviours in aquatic environments. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 373, 20170202.

Klemme, I., Karvonen, A., (2017). Learned parasite avoidance is driven by host personality and resistance to infection in a fish-trematode interaction. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 283, 20161148.