SciComm Episode 32 – Interview with Maureen Williams
In SciComm episode 32, I am joined by Maureen Williams. Maureen’s PhD research is focused on how parasitic links can impact the whole ecosystem and how these links could change in importance in variable and warming climates. She mostly does experimental work in lakes and rivers. She is currently determining how parasitism (specifically macroparasitism) affects energy flow though ecologically important shredders (Gammarus duebeni) at an individual level across temperature gradients. So far, she’s been able to show that the parasite she works with doesn’t directly change energy flow within individuals, but temperature does. The parasite, however, drastically alters the behaviour of the host, with potentially major consequences for the ecosystem, as the host is driven to its predator and spends less time interacting with the detritus it typically eats. She is also working a bit on how temperature and parasitism influence feeding preferences and abilities. She’s also been able to work on some naturally warmed streams in Iceland, where she focused on temperature and the parasitic communities of snails.
She contributes to the EcoEvo Blog. She has been one of the organisers of Pint of Science in Dublin and has helped run the 2014 & 2015 Discover Research Dublin nights, though she had a reduced role in the 2016 Probe event that it became. She spent a day on the @Biotweeps account in November. She helped teach a few modules at TCD, including the Marine Field Ecology Course, Fundamentals of Ecology, Parasitology, and Data Handling within the School of Natural Sciences.
Twitter – Maureen Williams
Website – Maureen Williams