Parasites are ubiquitous and have an intrinsic value to the functioning of ecosystems far beyond the harmful effects they might, in some cases, pose on their hosts. However, parasites are rarely accounted for when investigating the consequences of changes (i.e., global warming, habitat restoration, etc.) to the assemblages of species in ecosystems. Our lab focuses on bringing up the attention parasites deserve in ecological questions of a broad range, from community organisation, to climate change or restoration ecology to invasive species. By using a purposely developed framework of functional traits of parasites, we can now quantify functional diversity of these organisms that will allow us to better understand the different roles parasite species play in the ecosystems.
Parasites going through an invasion processImage credits to Cristina Llopis-Belenguer
Collaborators on this topic
Prof. Rune Knudsen, The Arctic University of Norway
Dr. Rachel Paterson, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
Dr. Cristina Llopis-Belenguer, ETH Zurich, Switzerland