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Animal and human microbial parasites: evolutionary and natural history perspectives

Greenfinch by Andreas Trepte

Greenfinch by Andreas Trepte

Illustrated talk by Professor Robert Hirt

Friday 4 November, 7-8pm.

Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle NE2 4PT.

Animals, including humans, host a myriad of single cell species that have developed mutual relationships with their hosts. Many of these can induce pathologies and are typically referred to as parasites. In this talk Robert will discuss integrating the study of animal and human microbial parasites to gain insights into their biology and how human activities can disturb animal-parasite interactions. This will illustrate the importance of environmental and biological factors in determining the outcome of the relationship between host and parasite. In particular, he will talk about examples of parasites commonly found among birds, with dramatic impact on UK finch populations and also parasites common among insects, including UK pollinators.

Robert is Professor of Evolutionary Parasitology at Newcastle University and was previously a researcher at the Natural History Museum, London.