Tamara Szentivanyi

My research focuses on the evolutionary ecology of diseases in bats and their vectors. During my PhD I work mostly on bat flies (Diptera: Nycteribiidae and Streblidae) as model organisms. Bat flies are obligate, blood-sucking ectoparasites of bats and some species are known as vectors of Polychromophilus (bat malaria). During my research I attempt to reveal the ecological factors that can influence the population dynamics of bat flies to get a better understanding in this complex host-ectoparasite-parasite network. My work mainly concentrates the role and distribution of hyperparasitic infection of bat flies by Laboulbeniales species (Fungi: Ascomycota) as well as the presence and effects of Wolbachia infection in these vectors. I am also interested in ecological and evolutionary factors that shape ectoparasite species richness in bats moreover biased sex ratio and host specificity in bat flies.

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