Critique3forlecture - On November 9 at 7:30pm in Williams...

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On November 9 at 7:30pm in Williams Hall, I attended the talk called Monarchs and Their Parasites given by Dr. Jaap de Roode, a biologist at Emory University who conducts research on parasites in his lab and teaches ecology and evolution. Dr. de Roode’s research focuses specifically on developing monarch butterflies and using their parasites as a way to investigate virulence evolution and animal self-medication. Dr. de Roode has been studying monarch butterflies for the last 10 years. His interest in studying them stems from the fact that they get sick. Hence, what they do to treat themselves can inform us significantly about the drugs we can develop for human beings. The parasites they get infected with is called ophryocystis elektroscirrha. These parasites produce millions of spores outside of the butterfly that appear as specks between its scales. Additionally, these parasites are detrimental to the monarchs as they can shorten their lifespan, reduce their ability to fly and kill them before they are adults.
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