Omar Khalilur Rahman
Project title: Host-parasite networks in changing landscapes
Summary: Anthropogenic effects such as urbanisation have a significant effect on the population dynamics of key species and are a popular area in conservation research. Parasites dominate species networks, are an indicator of ecosystem health, and serve as potential vectors of disease. Despite this, not much is known about how they respond to serious environmental changes such as habitat loss and fragmentation and what impact this has on ecosystem functions and emerging infectious diseases (EIDs).
I will explore the metrics of parasite networks found within different spatial contexts; including habitat removal and fragmentation of rainforests, the different land management treatments on organic and conventional farming systems. A portion of my project will also be dedicated to developing protocols for using a molecular approach to identifying the hosts of blood-feeding parasites and vectors.