My research investigates the evolution of species interactions across trophic levels, in particular involving plants, their insect pollinators, and associated parasites. The study system I work on comprises a wild fig (Ficus petiolaris), its species-specific fig wasp pollinator (Pegoscapus sp.), a nematode parasite of the pollinator (Parasitodiplogaster sp.), and potential bacterial symbionts of this nematode. I am interested in the extent of variation in nematode virulence across fig pollinator populations and how this variation has evolved in response to rates of horizontal transmission among host lineages, and levels of superinfection and interference competition.
Van Goor, J., F. Piatscheck, D. D. Houston, and J. D. Nason. (2017). Figs, pollinators, and parasites: a longitudinal study on the effects of nematode infection on fig wasp fitness. Acta Oecologica, accepted pending minor revision.
Piatscheck, F., J. Van Goor, D. D. Houston, & J. D. Nason. (2017). Ecological factors associated with pre-dispersal predation of fig seeds and symbionts by specialist lepidopteran larvae. Acta Oecologica, accepted pending minor revision.