Bi5613 Evolution and ecology of parasites

Faculty of Science
Spring 2013
Extent and Intensity
2/0. 2 credit(s) (plus extra credits for completion). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
prof. RNDr. Andrea Vetešníková Šimková, PhD. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
prof. RNDr. Andrea Vetešníková Šimková, PhD.
Department of Botany and Zoology - Biology Section - Faculty of Science
Contact Person: prof. RNDr. Andrea Vetešníková Šimková, PhD.
Supplier department: Department of Botany and Zoology - Biology Section - Faculty of Science
Tue 9:00–10:50 BR2
Prerequisites (in Czech)
Bi8150 Evolutionary biology
Bi6340 Ekologie společ. a makroekol. && Bi8150 Evoluční biologie
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
Evolutionary ecology is the study of the selective pressures imposed on organisms by the environment and the evolutionary responses to these pressures. The main aim of the lecture „Evolution and ecology of parasites“ is to analyze the biology of parasites from the view of evolutionary biology and ecology.
  • 1. Evolution of ecological traits in individual parasites, population and community 2. Origins of parasitism and complex life cycle – how organisms that made a transition to parasitism from a free-living ancestral lifestyle have undergone changes in their biology 3. Evolution of host specificity – why some parasites have evolved the ability to exploit a wide range of hosts whereas others are restricted to a single host species, the patterns and processes associated with host specificity 4. Speciation and diversification of organisms – cospeciation, host switching, intra-host speciation, application of phylogenetic methods 5. Determinants of parasite diversity – comparative interspecies analyses, correction for phylogeny in comparative analyses, host size as a main predictor of parasite diversity, host as island 6. Evolution of life histories in parasites – effect of host, physical environment and phylogeny on the variability in life history traits in parasites 7. Host exploitation strategies – evolution of virulence, host comportment manipulated by parasites 8. Aggregation of parasites – the causes and evolutionary consequences 9. Parasite population dynamics – the basic models of parasite population dynamics, population processes shaped by evolution, recent developments in parasite population genetics 10. Parasite interactions – niche, numerical and function response to competition, evolutionary restriction of niche, coexistence of parasites, intraspecific interactions – mating rendez-vous 11. Structure, principles and rules in parasite infracommunities and component communities, evolution of parasite diversity, randomness versus predictability in parasite communities 12. Immunoecology – trade-off between investments in immunity and reproduction in host, immunocompetence versus parasitism, the role of MHC in the parasite mediated selection 13. Sexual selection in hosts and parasites – sexual ornamentation as an indicator of vitality and genetic quality of host, a role of MHC in sexual selection
    required literature
  • POULIN, Robert. Evolutionary ecology of parasites. 2nd ed. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2007. x, 332. ISBN 9780691120850. info
  • FLEGR, Jaroslav. Evoluční biologie. Vyd. 1. Praha: Academia, 2005. 559 s. ISBN 8020012702. info
    recommended literature
  • Morand, S. & Krasnov, B.R. 2010. The Biogeography of Host-Parasite Interactions.Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Poulin R, Morand S, Skorping A. 2000. Evolutionary biology of host-parasites relationships: theory meets reality. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
  • Thomas F., Renaud F., Guegan J. A. 2005. Parasitism and Ecosystems. Oxford University Press.
  • Poulin R, Morand S. 2004. The parasite biodiversity. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington.
  • Clayton DH, Moore J. 1997. Host - Parasite evolution. General Principles & Avian Models. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Poulin R, Morand S. 2004. Parasite Biodiversity. Smithsonian Books, Washington,
Teaching methods
Assessment methods
oral exam
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught once in two years.
Information on the per-term frequency of the course: Vypisuje se v podzimním semestru, mimořádně jaro 2013, více viz v Další poznámce k předmětu.
General note: Předmět nebude otevírán každoročně. Předmět bude otevírán podle počtu nahlášených studentů.
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2011 - acreditation, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2019.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Spring 2013, recent)
  • Permalink: