Rodrigo Megía-Palma, PhD.
I can be defined as an evolutionary ecologist. I study host-parasite relationships combining evolutionary and ecological perspectives. My research seeks to generate a comprehensive framework that will provide useful information to affront the epidemiological and conservation challenges that are present in a changing world. With these objectives in mind, I am working to first acknowledge the huge diversity of parasitic organisms unknown to science and that infect wild population of ectotherm Sauropsida (particularly lizards). I focus in ectotherm vertebrates because (i) there is already a good network of scientists dumping data on particular groups of parasites of birds (http://mbio-serv4.mbioekol.lu.se/avianmalaria/index.html); and
(ii) more importantly, published models of climate change predict a dramatic erosion of lizard diversity in the upcoming years. Thus, identifying other agents that might accelerate the decline of ectotherm populations is important for conservation purposes.