Karen D. Mccoy

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Despite recent advances in population genetic theory and empirical research, the extent of genetic differentiation among natural populations of animals remains difficult to predict. We reviewed studies of geographic variation in mitochondrial DNA in seabirds to test the importance of various factors in generating population genetic and phylogeographic(More)
The hard tick Ixodes ricinus (Ixodidae) is the sole animal thus far shown to harbour an intra-mitochondrial bacterium, which has recently been named Midichloria mitochondrii. The objectives of this work were (i) to screen ixodid ticks for Midichloria-related bacteria and (ii) to determine whether these bacteria exploit the intra-mitochondrial niche in other(More)
Parasites represent a great proportion of the world's living organisms and are of overwhelming significance because of their impact on hosts (evolutionarily, medically, agronomical and economically). The knowledge of the population biology of such organisms is thus of fundamental importance to population biologists. Most parasites cannot be studied by(More)
Today, we are witnessing changes in the spatial distribution and abundance of many species, including ticks and their associated pathogens. Evidence that these changes are primarily due to climate change, habitat modifications, and the globalisation of human activities are accumulating. Changes in the distribution of ticks and their invasion into new(More)
The acceptance of poorly tested hypotheses has adverse scientific consequences, and may have adverse ecological and social consequences. The hypothesis that purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) has deleterious effects on North American wetlands is an example. We traced the history of purple loosestrife and its control in North America and found little(More)
The aim of this study was to characterize the spatial distribution of the tick Ixodes uriae within and among populations of its seabird hosts and to consider the potential insight that could be gained by a population genetic approach to the issue of dispersal of this tick. Analyses of data collected around the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland, indicated that(More)
Determining patterns of host use, and the frequency at which these patterns change, are of key importance if we are to understand tick population dynamics, the evolution of tick biodiversity, and the circulation and evolution of associated pathogens. The question of whether ticks are typically host specialists or host generalists has been subject to much(More)
The evolution of host specificity is considered to be an essential mechanism driving parasite diversity. It may be governed by adaptive constraints that lead to host-dependent fitness trade-offs. Alternatively, specificity may arise via transmission constraints that isolate parasite populations, without necessarily involving adaptation per se. Here, we ask(More)
Q fever is a highly infectious disease with a worldwide distribution. Its causative agent, the intracellular bacterium Coxiella burnetii, infects a variety of vertebrate species, including humans. Its evolutionary origin remains almost entirely unknown and uncertainty persists regarding the identity and lifestyle of its ancestors. A few tick species were(More)
A potential role of seabirds in spreading Lyme disease (LB) spirochetes over large spatial scales was suggested more than 10 years ago when Borrelia garinii was observed in marine birds of both hemispheres. Since then, there have been few studies examining the diversity of Borrelia spp. circulating in seabirds, or the potential interaction between(More)