Parasite Effects on Phenotype: Schistocephalus solidus

parasitesThe tapeworm parasite (S. solidus) infects threespine stickleback and can cause demelanization of the stickleback host and change its behavior once the worm reaches a size sufficient for reproduction in the definitive host (bird). Effects of this parasite vary regionally. Research in our laboratory explores the effect of the parasite on the behavior and coloration of adult hosts(Tzarougian), changes in physiology and chromatophore condition (Richard), and in collaboration with David Heins, changes in life history and effects of the parasite on population dynamics (Baker).