Graduate Student Seed Grant Projects

When invaders are invaded: parasitism, MHC diversity, and selection in an invasive lizard and its native cogener

Tamara Fetters, John Abramyan, Skylar Hopkins, Ariel Leon, Biological Sciences
Faculty Mentors: Joel McGlothlin, Lisa Belden, Dana Hawley, Biological Sciences


The brown anole (Anolis sagrei)

The brown anole (Anolis sagrei)

Parasites play a role in mediating invasion success by affecting host fitness and altering interactions between resident and invasive species. The brown anole (Anolis sagrei) is a highly invasive lizard native to the Caribbean that has spread into the southeastern United States, causing displacement and habitat shifts in its native congener, the green anole (Anolis carolinensis), where their ranges overlap.

We will examine whether co-occurring green and brown anoles are differentially parasitized, and if so, whether these differences correlate with variation in genes linked to parasite resistance. This study will help us gain a better understanding of how parasitism can influence range expansion in invasive species.