Course description

This course will focus on one of the most diverse and fascinating groups of marine organisms- parasites. We will explore marine parasites and pathogens at multiple levels, including: (1) the evolutionary perspective with an emphasis on co-evolutionary relationships; (2) parasitic diseases and life cycles (from simple to complex); (3) taxonomic and phylogenetic understanding of parasite and host groups (with a focus on metazoan parasites and hosts); (4) ecological implications of parasitism in marine systems—at the population, community, and ecosystem levels; and (5) the effects of human-induced global change on parasitism in marine communities.

Outcome 1: Students will be able to: Apply working knowledge of fundamental facts, concepts, and theories about marine parasitology and disease.

Outcome 2: Determine evolutionary and ecological importance of parasites/pathogens in marine systems.

Outcome 3: Identify taxa of marine parasites using scientific keys and descriptions.

Outcome 4: Determine host and parasite diversity in the local marine environment.

Outcome 5: Prepare microscopes and other equipment used for observing and identifying parasites.

Outcome 6: Empirically test ideas using scientific evidence collected from surrounding ecosystems.

Outcome 7: Organize knowledge of marine parasitology and disease and effectively communicate concepts to peers.


At least one college-level introductory course in evolutionary or ecological biology, e.g. (BIOEE/BIOSM 1780) Intro to Evolutionary Biology and Diversity, (BIOEE/BIOSM 1610) Ecology and the Environment, or similar.

Summer 2024: