Tully Osmond

The effects of parasites on food web structure and dynamics: New ways to improve accuracy and ecological realism

PhD aim:
To investigate new ways to include parasites within food web models and investigate the influence that parasite species have on the structure, dynamics, and function of a commercially valuable marine food web of the west coast of Scotland (wcoS).

PhD objectives:

  • To identify the main metazoan parasite species from two to four commercially valuable marine fish species involved in the wcoS food web (literature review and fish dissections).
  • To find new ways include the identified parasite species within topological, energetic, and functional food web models.
  • To investigate which food web model type best represents parasitic interactions.
  • To compare the changes in food web metrics with and without the inclusion of parasites.
  • To compare the effect of generalist parasites to specialist parasites on food web metrics.
  • To investigate whether the use of eDNA metabarcoding could be used to reduce dissections for parasite identification in future studies.

Contact details:
Email: tully.osmond@napier.ac.uk
LinkedIn profile: www.linkedin.com/in/tully-osmond-449a26209/