Originally from Montreal, Robert obtained a BSc from McGill University and a PhD from Laval University, before eventually joining the University of Otago in 1992. Since arriving there, he has established a research programme in parasite ecology and evolution that focuses on broad questions but not on any particular taxa. Currently, his research group has three main research directions. First, his lab investigates the forces shaping the evolution of parasites, in particular the evolution of life history traits such as body size, host specificity, the ability to manipulate host behaviour, and the complexity of the transmission pathways. Second, they are studying the role of parasites in aquatic ecosystems, i.e. how they affect community diversity and food web stability, and how parasitism may interact with climate change to influence the properties of ecosystems. Third, Robert has long been exploring large-scale patterns of parasite biodiversity and biogeography, searching for the processes behind the diversification and distribution of parasites and diseases.
Abstracts this author is presenting: