Leticia De Souza Soares, Ph.D.
As an evolutionary biologist, Soares' research passions gravitate around ornithology, parasitology and disease ecology. She is interested in understanding host-parasite interactions over time and across space, and how parasitic infections affect the life-history components of their hosts. Most of her research combines two groups of organisms with magnificent life-history strategies: birds and their haemosporidian parasites – a group of protozoans that includes the infamous pathogens that cause malaria (Plasmodium sp.) in several vertebrate species. Avian haemosporidian parasites are ubiquitous in nature, making this a suitable study-system to ask questions related to host-pathogen ecology and evolution. Currently, most questions she asks relate to determining how individual birds cope with infections and demanding life-cycle stages (e.g. reproduction and migration), as well as to estimating the effects of these pathogens in bird populations.
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