Kyle Shanebeck

Kyle Shanebeck
University of Alberta | UAlberta · Department of Biological Sciences

Master of Science

About

6
Publications
779
Reads
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6
Citations
Introduction
I study the energetic (fitness) effects of helminth parasite infection on aquatic mammals, focusing on sub-lethal/sub-clinical infections and interplay with environmental pollutants.
Additional affiliations
September 2018 - present
University of Alberta
Position
  • PhD Student
March 2018 - June 2018
University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover
Position
  • Research Assistant
September 2014 - October 2016
YMCA Camp Campbell, Outdoor Science School
Position
  • Field Teacher
Description
  • Outdoor Educator for grades 5 and 6.
Education
October 2016 - August 2018
Universität Bremen
Field of study
  • Ecology
September 2006 - May 2010
Biola University
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (6)
Article
Parasites, by definition, have a negative effect on their host. However, in wild mammal health and conservation research, sub‐lethal infections are commonly assumed to have negligible health effects unless parasites are present in overwhelming numbers. Here, we propose a definition for host health in mammals that includes sub‐lethal effects of para...
Article
Corynosoma strumosum (Acanthocephala), a widespread parasite of pinnipeds, is reported in marine foraging North American mink (Neogale vison) and river otter (Lontra canadensis) on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. This is the first confirmed case of infection by C. strumosum in river otters on the west coast of North America and may be the first...
Article
Full-text available
Acanthocephalans are common intestinal parasites of marine mammals, the most widespread of which is the genus Corynosoma . In this study, parasite infrapopulations of two closely related species of Corynosoma were examined: Corynosoma enhydri from sea otters ( Enhydra lutris ) in Alaska ( n = 12) and California ( n = 19), and Corynosoma strumosum f...
Article
Parasites can have strong effects on invertebrate host behaviour, fecundity and survival in marine ecosystems. However, parasites are often poorly documented and still rarely integrated into marine ecological modelling; comprehensive surveys of infection in marine invertebrates are sporadic at best. For example, rock crabs are an important part of...
Article
Full-text available
The acanthocephalan parasite, Corynosoma enhydri, uses sea otters (Enhydra lutris) as definitive host. Despite high prevalence and abundance in southern sea otters (E. l. nereis), sublethal impacts of infection on otter health are unknown. Parasites are an integral part of ecosystem structure and functioning. Many affect host behavior, reproduction...
Article
Full-text available
Infectious disease is a major cause of mortality for sea otters Enhydra lutris, a keystone species of continued concern for conservationists. Parasitic infection has long been identified as a cause of mortality in otters in both Alaska and California, USA. Corynosoma enhydri (Acanthocephala) is the only parasite that uses sea otters as its primary...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
Mustelids are important meso- and top-predators in a variety of ecosystems. While there is an abundance of research on the effects of parasites (particularly intestinal) on the fitness of ungulates, research is limited on their effect in carnivores. We wish to know how infection by helminths affects river otter and mink energetics (specifically in relation to body condition and reproductive fitness). Project will also include consideration of pollutants as a contributing factor, as parasites can both increase or decrease host exposure to heavy metal pollutants, and may have an effect on the host's ability to mount a fulsome defence to infection.
Project
Do sub-lethal and sub-clinical infections by Helminths affect mammal fitness? I am conducting a Meta-analysis of the literature to quantify the effect of helminth infection on mammals, reported through a variety of metrics including: body condition, digestive function, reproductive function, immune function, and stress.
Project
The Acanthocephalan parasite, Corynosoma enhydri is often thought of as unimportant, or even titled by some as the "good" parasite of sea otters. This conclusion is based solely on the lack of direct mortality effects, as Corynosoma does not cause severe inflammation and peritonitis like its cousin Profilicollis. However, parasites can have significant sub-lethal effects on individuals and populations, including immune suppression, metabolic depression, gut microbiol disruption, and behavioral modification. Parasites also often alter intermediate host behavior which may play a role otter prey dynamics. Investigations into Corynosoma are all but non-existent, and therefore it is premature to dismiss them as unimportant for otter population health and success, especially as southern sea otters are predominantly resource limited. For my current project I am looking at possible sub-lethal effects of infection significant to otters in: 1. Immune suppression 2. Metabolic depression 3. Intermediate host modification