A state-dependent modelling framework for exploring the interactions between macroparasites and their intermediate hosts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

Abstract

The foraging behaviour of animals has been extensively studied by behavioural ecologists, and a suite of modelling techniques have been developed to explore the decision-making processes made by foragers. More recently, these techniques have been expanded to consider the decisions made by individuals when they interact with others, looking at the role of the individual in social foraging situations. The relationship between a macroparasite and its intermediate host makes similar assumptions (with obvious differences) to the relationship between two animals foraging socially, where both parasite and host experience changes in their reserves in response to the ‘foraging’ behaviour shown by both individuals (where the host gains energy from foraging in the external environment, whilst the parasite gains energy, to the detriment of the host, from ‘foraging’ on the host’s own stored resources). I describe a framework exploring the decision-making processes made by hosts and parasites (where a ‘decision’ is defined as a life-history choice made by an individual about how much resource to harvest over a short period of time), using a state-dependent dynamic programming framework. As well as being a useful tool for exploring general questions about life-history evolution, these models can be used to explore more targeted questions about specific systems where the biology of the hosts, parasites, and their environment are well characterised.
Translated title of the contributionA state-dependent modelling framework for exploring the interactions between macroparasites and their intermediate hosts
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritish Society for Parasitology Spring Meeting, Cardiff University
Pages95 - 96
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2010
EventBritish Society for Parasitology Spring Meeting, Cardiff University - Cardiff, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Mar 201030 Mar 2010

Conference

ConferenceBritish Society for Parasitology Spring Meeting, Cardiff University
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityCardiff
Period30/03/1030/03/10

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