Uncovering drivers of parasite richness in highly mobile ungulates

Congratulations to Claire Teitelbaum on the publication of her first dissertation chapter! The research, published in Proceedings B, and co-authored by Shan Huang, Richard Hall and Sonia Altizer, uses macroecological analyses to investigate how parasite richness and average prevalence varies across ungulate species according to their movement strategies (migratory, nomadic or range resident). Surprisingly, we found that migrants on average harboured more parasites than nomads or residents, and this was not explained by differences in the diversity of habitats encountered. Instead, we propose that the differences arise because migrants track environmental conditions favourable for parasite transmission and survival, while nomads and residents typically experience harsher environmental conditions during their annual cycles.