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McKenzie, Valerie J Associate Professor

Positions

Research Areas research areas

Research

research overview

  • My research interests combine the fields of parasitology, disease ecology, and wildlife conservation. I am interested in understanding the ways in which anthropogenic disturbances (e.g., land use, invasive species, aquaculture, wetland management) affect the parasites, pathogens, and symbiotic microbes of wildlife. In the realm of conservation biology, the goal of my research is to identify key factors that lead to shifts in the abundance and distribution of parasites and pathogens in order to offer ecologically informed solutions to mitigate disease threats to vulnerable wildlife. From a theoretical perspective, I am interested in the ways in which the host interacts with microbial symbionts and how those interactions can shape biological functions ranging from disease tolerance to evolution of new traits.

keywords

  • parasitology, disease ecology, host-associated microbes, conservation biology

Publications

selected publications

Teaching

courses taught

  • EBIO 3040 - Conservation Biology
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Applies principles of population ecology, population genetics, biogeography, animal behavior, and paleobiology to the maintenance of biodiversity and natural systems. The resulting theory is then applied to conservation policy and management techniques. Recommended prerequisite: EBIO 2040 or EBIO 2640 or ENVS 2000 (minimum grade C-). Same as ENVS 3040.
  • EBIO 3630 - Parasitology
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019
    Lect. and lab. Surveys animal parasites, including life histories; emphasizes parasites of humans. Uses animals and/or animal tissues. Recommended prerequisites: EBIO 1210 and EBIO 1220 and EBIO 1230 and EBIO 1240 (minimum grade C-).
  • EBIO 4990 - EBIO Honors Thesis Research
    Primary Instructor - Summer 2018 / Summer 2019
    To be taken during the final academic year prior to graduation. Consists of the final phase of honors research and thesis preparation under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Recommended prerequisites: minimum 3.3 GPA and a declared EBIO major and approval by departmental Honors program.
  • ENVS 3040 - Conservation Biology
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Applies principles of population ecology, population genetics, biogeography, animal behavior, and paleobiology to the maintenance of biodiversity and natural systems. The resulting theory is then applied to conservation policy and management techniques. Recommended prerequisite: EBIO 2040 or EBIO 2640. Same as EBIO 3040.

Background

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