Parasites Change Snail Thermal Preference

My recent MSc student’s first paper is in press and published! 

Wang, SYS, Tattersall, GJ, and Koprivnikar, J. 2019. Trematode parasite infection affects temperature selection in aquatic host snails. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 92(1):71–79.

Susan examined whether naturally occurring trematode parasite loads influenced snail (host) thermal preference and found that there was an approximately 2°C higher preferred temperature in parasitised snails compared to non-parasitised individuals. 

But, one of the challenges with laboratory thermal preference experiments is that slow moving ectotherms can become “thermally trapped” in colder temperatures, and thus their null (in the absence of a preference) distribution needs to be assessed to compared to the observed distributions.  So we employed some mathematical modelling to assist in determining the null distributions.

The code and explanation for the code can be found here on github:

The link to the paper can be found here:

Great job, Susan!  And thanks to Dr. Janet Koprivnikar (Ryerson Univ) – Susan’s co-supervisor.