Janice KrummPh.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
B.S. Zoology, Michigan State University, 1995
Faculty advisor: Clay Sassaman
Research topic: My research interests include the evolution of life history traits, host parasite interactions, and the feminization of hosts by parasites. I am currently working with a geographically widespread fairy shrimp, Branchinecta lindahli, which appears to be the host of an endocytoplasmic factor that is capable of feminizing male hosts. My research consists of three main components: identifying the feminizing factor, determining the effect of the factor on female life history traits, and determining if the factor varies in frequency between populations of B. lindahli.
The first part of my research will focus on identification of the feminizing factor through electron microscopy and molecular techniques. The second part will explore how the feminizing factor affects female life history traits. Laboratory studies will compare the life history traits of parasitized genetic females with unparasitized genetic females, and also compare parasitized genetic females with parasitized feminized males. The third part of my research will determine if the frequency of the factor varies between natural populations, and if the population frequencies are correlated with any geographical or environmental variables.