Hi! I'm an ecologist that studies trophic interactions between hosts and symbionts with an emphasis on parasitic worms that infect birds as definitive hosts. I have assessed 87 avian species for general health, feeding interactions in local food webs, and parasitic infections.
I use techniques in community ecology to statistically differentiate between groups of hosts - I do this with parasite assemblage data. We have used parasite communities to link the feeding ecology of hosts and the local species assemblages of prey to define subspecies, sex, and age classes of bird hosts.
I also use landscape ecology to understand the impacts of human-induced alterations to ecosystems on the behaviors of wildlife.
Finally, I document the incidence of plastic consumption in the wildlife that I study. Sometimes the hosts themselves have eaten plastics, but often it is their prey that consumed it or were entangled in it. This has spurred a whole new area of research in our lab.