Warmer temperatures may cause host-parasite interactions to cool off

NSF Postdoc Fellow and recent Odum School graduate Alyssa Gehman, together with Jeb Byers and Richard Hall, published a thought-provoking study that challenged the commonly held assumption that climate warming will increase parasitism. Alyssa’s study combined field observations, lab experiments and mathematical modeling to investigate how temperature affected traits of a barnacle parasite and its mud crab host. The study, just published in PNAS, illustrates that differential responses of uninfected and infected host survival, and parasite reproduction to temperature, will likely lead to reduced parasitism under warming along the Atlantic seaboard.