Genetic and environmental factors influencing pathogenisity in the interaction between Gyrodactylus salaris and its salmonid host
Biology and evolution of Gyrodactylus salaris infecting Atlantic salmon
Under the direction of Tor Bakke, we are the only group in the world undertaking extensive experimental research on the host specificity of Gyrodactylus salaris, responsible for a major disease of salmon in Norway. This work encompasses experimental epidemiology in the laboratory, field studies, and surveys of the genomic diversity of G. salaris in Europe. Currently we are interested in the epidemiology of charr-infecting strains in Norway; in genomic evolution of G. salaris and in the phylogeography of the parasite in Central Europe.
Local adaptation in the digenean Phyllodistomum
Phyllodistomum infects the ureters and kidney of salmonids (trout, charr, salmon, whitefish) amongst other fishes, and has a confused taxonomy; furthermore its complex life cycle is poorly known, and may be relatively plastic. We have a project examining the taxonomy of these parasites in Scandinavia, and hope to extend this to consider the parasite life cycle as an example of local adaptation to particular host populations.
Speciation and host shifts in heligmosomatid nematodes
The nematode Heligmosomoides polygyrus is a widespread parasite of the wood mouse (Skogsmus, Apodemus species) in the Holarctic. A second species, H. bakeri, is a common laboratory model of a Gastro-Intestinal nematode parasite, infecting laboratory mice. In a collaboration with the University of Nottingham (Jerzy Behnke), we are interested in the evolution of this interaction, in the timing of the host shift from Apodemus to Mus, and in the effects of bottlenecking on populations of the parasite.
Evolution of the blood parasitic bacterium Bartonella
Bartonella is an under-reported and potentially pathogenic bacterium of the endothelial and blood cells. In a collaboration with the University of Warsaw (Professor Edward Sinski, Ania Paziewska) we have been following the implications of recombination for the taxonomy and biology of this bacterium.
Ecology and systematics of ectoparasite communities of rodents
With collaborators at the University of Nottingham (Jerzy Behnke) and the University of Warsaw (Edward Sinski), we have been looking at the community of ectoparasites on rodents in Poland and Egypt. It is hoped that this work will also develop here in Oslo.