Kreider Professor Emeritus of Biology
Parasitology and Malacology
(610) 330-5463 voice
(610) 330-5705 FAX
Student research in parasitology is focused on studies of the biology of trematodes, a group of parasitic flatworms. Trematodes are relatively simple organisms which have evolved a bilateral body plan and organ systems analogous to those found in humans. Therefore, trematodes provide unique material to study the functional morphology of organ systems that are relatively similar to our own. Moreover, some trematodes cause major worm diseases in man, domestic animals and wildlife and merit study so that we can better understand how to control parasitic diseases.
Trematodes can be maintained in the laboratory by cycling them through snails and appropriate vertebrate hosts; they can also be maintained in chick embryos. Relatively little fundamental information is available on the physiology, biochemistry and behavior of trematodes. My students and I are interested in basic research that provides further information on the biology and physiology of trematodes. We use morphometry, thin layer chromatography, differential staining, light and electron microscopy and ion analysis of body fluids in our studies of the effects of different rearing conditions on these animal parasites.
A new research effort focuses on various aspects of malacology, particularly as related to medically important snails in the genera Biomphalaria, Helisoma and Lymnaea. My students and I are currently examining various aspects of the biology, physiology, biochemistry, nutrition and behavior of these important disease vectors.