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Jean-François Doherty

Jean-François Doherty
University of British Columbia · Department of Zoology

Philosophiae Doctor

About

30
Publications
3,974
Reads
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117
Citations
Citations since 2016
29 Research Items
117 Citations
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Introduction
I have broad research interests in the evolution and ecology of host-parasite interactions, in particular the behavioural consequences of host manipulation. Currently, I am using high-throughput methods (comparative genomics, comparative transcriptomics, and proteomics) and gene editing (CRISPR-Cas9) to understand the proximate mechanisms that cause terrestrial insects, infected with hairworms (phylum Nematomorpha), to enter water and drown, allowing the parasites to escape and mate.
Education
March 2018 - September 2021
University of Otago
Field of study
  • Zoology
May 2014 - August 2017
Laval University
Field of study
  • Biology
September 2011 - April 2014
Laval University
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (30)
Article
In an era where some find fake news around every corner, the use of sensationalism has inevitably found its way into the scientific literature. This is especially the case for host manipulation by parasites, a phenomenon in which a parasite causes remarkable change in the appearance or behaviour of its host. This concept, which has deservedly garne...
Article
Big data have become readily available to explore patterns in large-scale disease ecology. However, the rate at which these public databases are exploited remains unknown. We highlight trends in big data usage in disease ecology during the past decade and encourage researchers to integrate big data into their study framework.
Article
Environmental stability can have profound impacts on life history trait evolution in organisms, especially with respect to development and reproduction. In theory, free-living species, when subjected to relatively stable and predictable conditions over many generations, should evolve narrow niche breadths and become more specialised. In parasitic o...
Article
Full-text available
Insects and parasites dominate the biosphere, in terms of known biodiversity and mode of life, respectively. Consequently, insects play a part in many host-parasite systems, either as parasite, host, or both. Moreover, a lot of these systems involve adaptive parasite-induced changes of host phenotype (typically behavior or morphology), which is com...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the ubiquitous nature of parasitism, how parasitism alters the outcome of host–species interactions such as competition, mutualism and predation remains unknown. Using a phylogenetically informed meta‐analysis of 154 studies, we examined how the mean and variance in the outcomes of species interactions differed between parasitized and non‐p...
Article
Some parasites modify the phenotype of their host in order to increase transmission to another host or to an environment suitable for reproduction. This phenomenon, known as host manipulation, is found across many parasite taxa. Freshwater hairworms are known for the behavioural changes they cause in their terrestrial arthropod hosts, increasing th...
Article
Full-text available
Parasites can play a critical role in mediating inter-species interactions. Potential effects induced by parasites can range from species-wide traits to functional alterations in host community structure. One of the most intriguing host–parasite interactions pertains to adaptative host manipulation, an evolutionary occurrence where parasites alter...
Article
Disease spillover can have dramatic consequences in multispecies systems, potentially leading to the emergence of zoonoses. To better understand disease emergence patterns, an approach encompassing species relatedness metrics is needed. We show that integrating phylogenetic information in disease ecology is still lagging, and we highlight potential...
Article
Community composition, including the relative density of each host species, plays a vital role in the transmission of parasites or disease in freshwater ecosystems. Whereas some host species can effectively transmit parasites, others can act as dead ends (non-viable transmission routes), accumulating large numbers of parasites throughout their life...
Article
Full-text available
Host manipulation by parasites can shape host behaviour, community structure, and the flow of energy through food webs. A well-known example of host manipulation comes from hairworms (phylum Nematomorpha), which somehow cause their terrestrial insect definitive hosts to enter water, a phenomenon that has received lots of attention in recent years....
Article
Aim Interspecific variation among metazoans often follows a latitudinal pattern, with species at higher latitudes being larger bodied than related species from lower latitudes (Bergmann's rule). For parasitic species, body sizes within any higher taxon are often correlated with the body sizes of their hosts (Harrison's rule). Whether temperature-dr...
Article
Every internet search query made out of curiosity by anyone who observed something in nature, as well as every photo uploaded to the internet, constitutes a data point of potential use to scientists. Researchers have now begun to exploit the vast online data accumulated through passive crowdsourcing for studies in ecology and epidemiology. Here, we...
Thesis
Full-text available
Parasitism, the act of acquiring nutrients at the expense of a host organism, has arguably become the most prevalent mode of life on this planet. Despite the remarkable diversity of parasite species, their life strategies can be grouped mainly into only six general categories. This is reflected by a convergent evolution in life cycle attributes and...
Article
Host organisms show altered phenotypic reactions when parasitised, some of which result from adaptive host manipulation, a phenomenon that has long been debated. Here, we provide an overview and discuss the rationale in distinguishing adaptive versus nonadaptive host behavioural manipulation. We discuss Poulin’s criteria of adaptive host behavioura...
Article
Digital data (internet queries, page views, social media posts, images) are accumulating online at increasing rates. Tools for compiling these data and extracting their metadata are now readily available. We highlight the possibilities and limitations of internet data to reveal patterns in host–parasite interactions and encourage parasitologists to...
Article
Full-text available
Fear of natural enemies in non-human animals is a concept dating back to the time of Darwin. Now recognized as a non-consumptive effect, the ecological and evolutionary impact of fear has been studied in a number of predator-prey systems within the last few decades. However, comparatively little consideration has been given to the non-consumptive e...
Article
Parasites are important drivers of ecosystem functions and play a key role in the maintenance of ecosystem health. However, parasites may be threatened by host conservation, as well as by host extinction. Captive management is of increasing importance for conserving threatened host species, but captivity represents a drastic environmental change th...
Article
Full-text available
Animals adopt a range of avoidance strategies to reduce their exposure to parasites and the associated cost of infection. If strong selective pressures from parasites are sustained over many generations, avoidance strategies may gradually evolve from phenotypically plastic, or individually variable, to fixed, species-wide traits. Over time, host sp...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: Determine the relative influence of geographical distance, environmental differences, and host species composition on the similarity of bat fly species composition. Location: Neotropics. Taxon: Bats (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae) and bat flies (Diptera: Streblidae). Methods: Abundance data on bats and ectoparasites were obtained from published s...
Article
Mermithids (phylum Nematoda) and hairworms (phylum Nematomorpha) somehow drive their arthropod hosts into water, which is essential for the worms’ survival after egression. The mechanisms behind this behavioural change have been investigated in hairworms, but not in mermithids. Establishing a similar mechanistic basis for host behavioural change be...
Article
Certain species of parasites have the apparent ability to alter the behaviour of their host in order to facilitate the completion of their own life cycle. While documented in hairworms (phylum Nematomorpha), the ability for mermithid parasites (from the sister phylum Nematoda) to force hosts to enter water remains more enigmatic. Here, we present t...
Article
The defence reactions of insects to parasitic invaders are both varied and complex. Melanisation of pathogens is often an important step in insect immunity and can play a key role in isolating parasites. Within samples collected from a subalpine stream in New Zealand during two consecutive seasons (i.e., winter and spring), we observed and categori...
Article
New technological methods, such as rapidly developing molecular approaches, often provide new tools for scientific advances. However, these new tools are often not utilized equally across different research areas, possibly leading to disparities in progress between these areas. Here, we use empirical evidence from the scientific literature to test...
Article
The pine needle scale, Chionaspis pinifoliae (Fitch) (Hemiptera: Diaspididae), has the status of an emerging pest in Christmas tree (Pinaceae) plantations in Québec, Canada. The scale is not known to cause any significant damage yet and is not generally monitored by growers. However, it can be an obstacle for exportation to Christmas tree markets w...
Article
Full-text available
Diapause-mediated dormancy in overwintering insect eggs has rarely been studied with regard to the ecological factors controlling postdiapause development. In insects of temperate latitudes, water availability at the end of winter, in interaction with temperature, could control the resumption of development for insect stages in postdiapause quiesce...
Article
Full-text available
The balsam twig aphid Mindarus abietinus Koch (Hemiptera: Aphididae), the spruce spider mite Oligonychus ununguis (Jacobi) (Acari: Tetranychidae), and the pine needle scale Chionaspis pinifoliae (Fitch) (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) are three important pests for the Christmas tree industry of Québec, Canada. Temperature-dependent development rates for p...
Article
Eggs of the balsam twig aphid Mindarus abietinus Koch (Hemiptera: Aphididae) overwinter for several months in obligate diapause, which terminates in early springtime when embryogenesis of the stem mother supposedly resumes. Important shape and size changes were observed on eggs collected at regular intervals during late winter and early spring. The...
Article
The balsam twig aphid Mindarus abietinus Koch (Hemiptera: Aphididae) is a major pest of economic importance for the Christmas tree industry. Global warming during the 21st century could potentially increase local population densities and reinforce the pest status of this aphid in commercial fir ( Abies Miller; Pinaceae) plantations in Québec, Canad...
Thesis
Full-text available
The balsam twig aphid Mindarus abietinus and the spruce spider mite Oligonychus ununguis are two pests of economic importance for the Christmas tree industry in Québec. Current climate change could affect their biology and physiology in such a way that, if their local densities in commercial fir plantations grow in the future, potential damage to c...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Archived project
The main goal for my doctorate is to study some of the many complex interactions between hairworms and their hosts (both paratenic and definitive) during the cyst and larval stages of hairworm development. In order to study these interactions, the hairworm life cycle will be replicated in the laboratory and definitive host specificity will be tested for one native and three exotic insect species. Behavioural assays will also be conducted on these insects throughout the entire infection period in order to test how hairworms cause their hosts to enter water. In collaboration with another research group, we will attempt to identify the genetic expression (transcriptomics) of the hairworm as it matures inside its insect host.
Archived project
Scouting of Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Diptera : Drosophilidae) in small fruits (strawberry and raspberry) at Orléans Island, QC, Canada
Archived project
1. Construct forecast models for the development of three arthropod pests, according to ambient temperature, in commercial Christmas tree plantations. 2. Update the phenology of these arthropod pests. 3. Test the effect of warmer temperatures on colony growth rates of the balsam twig aphid.