Principal Investigator

Professor Dr. Ryan Hechinger

Our group has three overarching research goals. First, to reveal the role of parasites in ecosystems. Second, to use parasites to help find universal ecological and evolutionary truths. Third, to “keep it real”. Please see our research and publications pages for details on how we achieve these goals. Email Ryan.

Lab Manager: Andrew Turner

Andrew works on lots of things in the lab and field, and generally keeps lab operations flowing smoothly. He got his BS in Microbiology from UC Santa Barbara in 2013, but he’s been working with Dr. Hechinger and his ilk since time immemorial. Email Andrew.

Post-Doctoral Researchers

Dr. Adrienne Mora

Adrienne examines how manipulative parasites affect the evolutionary ecology of their hosts. Some of her research has examined parasitic effects on host personality, courtship, and predator-prey interactions. She plans to expand her work in the Hechinger lab by investigating relationships between host personality, physiology, disease risk, and fitness. Email Adrienne. Go to her website.

Graduate Students

Daniel Metz, PhD Student

Dan primarily works on trematode sociality and runs the lab’s DNA sequencing operation. He first started working with Ryan as a visiting ESA undergraduate research fellow studying a ciliate parasite of crabs. He got his BS in Biology from Radford University in Virginia. Email Dan. See his webpage.

Anai Novoa, MSci, PhD Student

Anai is developing a dissertation project to examine how parasitism interacts with species range boundary shifts. She is also working on the diversity and abundance of louse parasites of estuarine birds. She got a BA in Biology from University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MS in Marine Science from University of San Diego. Email Anai.

Rebecca Hernandez, M.S. Student
Becky is a Masters student in the Hechinger Lab. She first became involved with the Hechinger lab as a volunteer on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project. She obtained her BS in Biology from the University of Texas-Pan American. Email Becky.
Cassandra Bernas, BS-MS Student

Cassie is a working on a project that helps identify each parasite life stage in different hosts and connects life stages belonging to a single species in order to better understand parasite diversity in an estuarine food web. She is a biochemistry and cell biology major at UCSD.

Lab Interns

Alex Nelson

Alex works on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project. She is currently a UCSD student double majoring in Marine Biology and Biochemistry.

Jennifer Dusto

Jennifer works on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project, analyzing behavior changes in infected fish. She is an undergraduate student at UCSD majoring in Marine Biology.

Abhinav Birda

Abhinav works on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish, analyzing behavior changes in infected fish. He is an undergraduate student at UCSD majoring Economics and minoring in General Biology.

Jasmine Terhall

Jasmine works on the Euhaplorchis-Fundulus parasite project, analyzing footage of the California Killifish with a brain-encysting trematode. Her major is Marine Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies.

Anna Chen

Anna works on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish field project, analyzing behavior changes in infected fish. She is currently a UCSD student double majoring in Biochemistry and Cognitive Psychology.

Daniella Fairbank

Daniella does video analysis for the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project, focusing on Parasite-Increased Trophic TransmissionShe is a third year transfer student at UCSD majoring in Biology with a minor in global health.

James Riddell

James works on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project. He is an undergraduate student at UCSD majoring in Marine Biology and minoring in Data Science.

Jessica Cameron

Jessica works on video analysis for the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project. She is an undergraduate student at UCSD majoring in General Biology.

Khang Tong

Khang works on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project. He is currently an undergraduate student at UCSD majoring in Environmental Systems: Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution.

Linh Ho

Linh works on the video analysis for the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project. She is currently a pre-med student at UCSD majoring in Psychology.

Matthew Campos

Matthew works on the video analysis for the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project. He is currently a student at UCSD majoring in Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution.

Reyna M. Carrillo

Reyna works on the Video Analysis for the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project. She is a student at UCSD majoring in Marine Biology.

Visitors

Major Collaborators

Dr. Kelly Weinersmith

Euhaplorchis–Fundulus parasite project. Email Kelly. Go to her website.

Dr. Oyvind Overli

Euhaplorchis–Fundulus parasite project. Email Oyvind. Go to his website.

Dr. Armand Kuris

Email Armand. Go to his website.

Dr. Kevin Lafferty

Email Kevin. Go to his website.

Dr. Mark Torchin

Email Mark. Go to his website.

scripps oceanography uc san diego