Dr Tobias E. Hector
Our planet is rapidly changing – with large shifts in average temperatures and an escalation in the regularity and severity of extreme thermal events. Alongside these changes in thermal environments, the distribution of parasites and the severity of infectious disease outbreaks are also being dramatically reshaped. I am generally interested in the interactions between hosts, parasites, and their thermal environments, and the eco-evolutionary consequences of these interactions. We are discovering that exposure to infectious disease agents can drive large shifts in the thermal performance of host populations, particularly their ability to cope with thermal stress. My current research aims to answer questions about how shifts in host thermal performance, as a result of parasite exposure, will impact their capacity to cope with changing thermal environments, and what this may mean for the ecology and evolution of both hosts and their parasites.