Even though most parasites are invisible, they can dramatically affect a person’s health and behaviour. They can also have profound consequences for industries, such as aquaculture—and these effects are increasingly difficult to predict and manage because climate change is altering the growth and virulence of many parasites.
Dr. Sandra Binning, Canada Research Chair in the Eco-Evolution of Host-Parasite Interactions, aims to understand how environmental and social changes can affect the way people acquire, manage and recover from parasite infections. To do this, she and her research team are using fish as model systems. Their approach involves a combination of mathematical modelling, fieldwork and laboratory experiments in natural fish populations and in aquaculture.