Natalie C. Steinel

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Parasite infections are a product of both ecological processes affecting host-parasite encounter rates and evolutionary dynamics affecting host susceptibility. However, few studies examine natural infection variation from both ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Here, we describe the ecological and evolutionary factors generating variation in(More)
Heritable population differences in immune gene expression following infection can reveal mechanisms of host immune evolution. We compared gene expression in infected and uninfected threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) from two natural populations that differ in resistance to a native cestode parasite, Schistocephalus solidus. Genes in both the(More)
Parasites can be a major cause of natural selection on hosts, which consequently evolve a variety of strategies to avoid, eliminate, or tolerate infection. When ecologically similar host populations present disparate infection loads, this natural variation can reveal immunological strategies underlying adaptation to infection and population divergence. For(More)
Melanomacrophage centers (MMCs) are aggregates of highly pigmented phagocytes found primarily in the head kidney and spleen, and occasionally the liver of many vertebrates. Preliminary histological analyses suggested that MMCs are structurally similar to the mammalian germinal center (GC), leading to the hypothesis that the MMC plays a role in the humoral(More)
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