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Daniel McLaughlin, PhD

Professor, Biology


PhD (University of New Brunswick)

Research interests

Ecology, biology, pathogenesis and systematics of waterfowl helminths; host-parasite responses of larval helminths and crustaceans.

Parasites are an integral component of the life history of most animals and may affect their hosts at the individual, community or population level. At the same time, parasites are organisms in their own right and are subject to many of the same environmental pressures that affect free living organisms. Research in this laboratory is focussed primarily on the trematode (fluke) and cestode (tapeworm) parasites of aquatic birds. Our approach is mainly ecological in it's perspective and involves studies the effects of temporal and spatial parameters on parasite communities in wild ducks, gulls and coots. The most recent study is on the seasonal dynamics of parasites in eider ducks in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick. In addition to studies on the parasites in birds, we also work on projects that explore various aspects of parasite life cycles, seasonal dynamics of parasites in snail and arthropod intermediate hosts and on host-parasite relations between parasite larvae and the intermediate hosts. This has included studies on the seasonal transmission of two trematodes (Cyclocoelum and Diplostomum ) in laboratory and natural conditions and aspects of the host parasite -relationship between cestode larvae and crustacean intermediate hosts. Because birds are hosts to a tremendous diversity of parasitic worms, a significant part of the work in this laboratory involves the identification of parasite species. While much of this is done using traditional morphological methods, we also use molecular methods in studies designed to clarify relationships between morphologically similar species, to identify potentially pathogenic parasite larvae and to investigate the phylogenetic history of members of selected families of cyclophyllidean cestodes.

Selected publications

Desilets, H. D., S. A. Locke, J. D. McLaughlin and  D. J. Marcogliese. 2013. Community structure of Diplostomum spp. (Digenea: Diplostomidae) in the eyes of fish: evidence for interspecific interactions? International Journal for Parasitology 43: 929-939.

King, S. D., D. J.  Marcogliese, J.H. Forest, J. D. McLaughlin and P. Bentzen. 2013. Description of Gyrodactylus mediotorus n. sp. infecting spottail shiner (Notropis hudsonius ) from the St. Lawrence River, Canada. Journal of Parasitology 99: 1062-1066.

Locke, S. A.,  J .D. McLaughlin and D. J. Marcogliese. 2013. Predicting the similarityof parasite communities in freshwater fishes using phylogeny, ecology, and proximityof  hosts. Oikos 122: 73-83.

Shutler, D., R. T. Alisauskas and J. D. McLaughlin. 2012. Associations between body composition and helminths of lesser snow geese during winter and spring migration. International Journal for Parasitology 42: 755-760.

Daoust, S. P., M. E. Rau and  J .D. McLaughlin. 2012. Plagiorchis elegans (Trematoda) induces immune response in an incompatible snail host Biomphalaria glabrata (Pulmonata Planorbidae). Journal of Parasitology 98: 1021-1022.

Locke, S. A., M. Levy,  D. J. Marcogliese, S. Ackerman and  J. D. McLaughlin. 2012. The decay of community similarity in ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis)  and other hosts Ecography 35: 530-538.

 Bergmame, L, J. E. Huffmann, R. Cole, S. S. Dayananadan , V.V. Tkach and J. D. McLaughlin. 2011. Spaheradiotrema globulus and S. pseudoglobulus (Digenea): species differentiation based on mtDNA (Barcode) and LSU-rDNA sequences. Journal of Parasitology  97: 1132-1136.

Locke, S. L,.  J. D.  McLaughlin, S. Dayananadan and D.J. Marcogliese. 2010. Diversity and specificity in Diplostomum spp. metacercariae in fresh water fishes revealed by cytochrome c oxidase and internal transcribed spacer sequences. International Journal for Parasitology 40: 333-343.

 Locke, S. A., J. D. McLaughlin and D. J. Marcogliese. 2010. DNA barcodes show cryptic diversity and a potential physiological basis for host specificity in the Diplostomoidea (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) parasitizing freshwater fishes of the St. Lawrence River, Canada.  Molecular Ecology 19: 2813-2817.

 Robinson, S.,  M. R. Forbes,  C. E. Hebert and J. D. McLaughlin. 2010. Male- biased parasitism in cormorants and recurring relationships with sex differences in foraging ecology. Waterbirds. 33:  307- 313.

 Locke, S, J. D. McLaughlin, S. Dayanandan, and D. J. Marcogliese. 2010. Diversity and specificity in Diplostomum spp. metacercariae in freshwater fishes as revealed by DNA barcodes and ITS sequences. International Journal for Parasitology 40: 333-343.

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