Seminar Series in Biology event Friday

The Seminar Series in Biology presents: “An Integrative Taxonomic Approach to Understanding Diversity of Neoechinorhynchus (Acanthocephala)” presented by Maggie Doolin, MS student, Biology Department, State University of New York College at Oneonta.

This seminar is hosted by the Biology Department and will take place at 4 p.m. Friday April 27 in Science I, Room 121.

Maggie received her BA in Biology from Hamilton College in 2014.  With a keen interest in parasites, she began her MS in the Reyda lab.  During her graduate studies at SUNY Oneonta, she has earned the Smithsonian Institution Graduate Fellowship (2017), the Meritorious Student Presentation at the American Society of Parasitologists Conference (2017), the Best Student Oral Presentation at the New England Association of Parasitologists (2016), and the Best Student Presentation, SUNY Oneonta SRCA Day (2017).

In this presentation, Maggie will discuss Neoechinorhynchus, the largest genus in the phylum Acanthocephala (thorny-headed worms).  Acanthocephala is a group of obligate intestinal parasites consisting of ~1200 species that infect a wide variety of vertebrate host animals. Neoechinorhynchus is the largest genus within this phylum, with approximately 116 described species that parasitize fishes and turtles worldwide. Species of Neoechinorhynchus have been described from around the world since 1780 without a consistent standard of data reported with each new description; identifications can be difficult even with original descriptions in hand. In North America, there are 35 species found in freshwater fishes, but there has been little study of these worms. There is severe lack of knowledge about most species’ geographic ranges and no data at all about genetic diversity within and between species in the USA and Canada.  Maggie research aimed at better characterization of Neoechinorhynchus diversity in Central New York, and to use molecular methods to understand species relationships among a wider range of North American species. The results of this work include the description of Neoechinorhynchus bullocki n. sp. from white suckers in Otsego County and the presentation of the first phylogenetic hypotheses including species from the USA and Canada.   Integrating both morphological and molecular study, Maggie studied of sixteen putative Neoechinorhynchus species and one closely related species.

About this seminar series: This series is offered several times throughout the semester to provide our student community with opportunities to learn about scientific research and professions. Speakers may include our own department faculty or students, as well as biologists and other professionals from elsewhere. All are welcome.