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Robert Poulin

Tel +64 3 479 7983


Research interests

Ant affected by a parasite 186
Parasitic incursion on an ant.

Professor Poulin's research interests extend across parasitism, ecology, evolution and marine ecosystems:

  • Evolutionary ecology of parasites
  • Effect of parasites on communities and ecosystems
  • Manipulation of host phenotype by parasites

Learn more about this research:
Evolutionary and Ecological Parasitology research group website

Robert is also a member of the Coastal People: Southern Skies collaboration that connects communities with world-leading, cross-discipline research to rebuild coastal ecosystems.
Coastal People: Southern Skies

Postgraduate projects

Thaumamermis zealandica in its amphipod host 186
Thaumamermis zealandica in its amphipod host.

  • Parasitism of molluscs and community structure in marine intertidal ecosystems
  • Impact of parasitism on coastal crustacean species
  • Evolution of abbreviated life cycles in parasitic trematodes
  • Manipulation of invertebrate behaviour by parasites, including the physiological mechanisms involved
  • Molecular genetics of helminth parasite


Tortosa, P., McInnes, K., O'Donnell, C. F. J., Pryde, M. A., Gomard, Y., Lebarbenchon, C., & Poulin, R. (2023). Coronavirus shedding in New Zealand bats: Insights and future perspectives. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 47(1), 3556. doi: 10.20417/nzjecol.47.3556

da Silva, G. G., Lopez, V. M., Vilarinho, A. C., Datto-Liberato, F. H., Oliveira, C. F., Poulin, R., & Guillermo-Ferreira, R. (2023). Vector species richness predicts local mortality rates from Chagas disease. International Journal for Parasitology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2023.10.002

Poulin, R. (2023). Model worms: Knowledge gains and risks associated with the use of model species in parasitological research. Parasitology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1017/s0031182023000963

Correia, S., Fernández-Boo, S., Magalhães, L., de Montaudouin, X., Daffe, G., Poulin, R., & Vera, M. (2023). Trematode genetic patterns at host individual and population scales provide insights about infection mechanisms. Parasitology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1017/S0031182023000987

Poulin, R. (2023). Light pollution may alter host–parasite interactions in aquatic ecosystems. Trends in Parasitology, 39(12), 1050-1059. doi: 10.1016/