Invited speakers

Dr Lexa Grutter

University of Queensland

Opening Address and Public Lecture

“Fish cleaning behaviour on the Great Barrier Reef”

Read more about Lexa

My research focuses on the interactions between coral reef fish, cleaning organisms, and the parasites they eat. Much of this has been done at Lizard Island, on the Great Barrier Reef. Because parasitic gnathiid isopods are eaten in vast quantities by the cleaner fish Labroides dimidiatus, my collaborators and I have studied their biology, taxonomy, ecology, and behaviour as well as their effects on host fish. We have also examined the effect of cleaner fish on gnathiid isopods and the fish clients they clean. This has been done using a combination of field and laboratory experiments, a gnathiid monoculture for infestation experiments, and a longterm cleaner fish removal experiment (19+years). Finally, the cleaner fish mutualism has also been a useful model system for testing general questions about cooperation. I did my PhD at James Cook University (1995), and have since been based at the University of Queensland, Australia.

Professor Jerri Bartholomew

Oregon State University

ISFPX Plenary Speaker
Read more about Jerri

My laboratory uses interdisciplinary approaches to study disease caused by myxozoan parasites, particularly in wild salmon populations. We investigate different aspects of the parasite’s complex life cycle including the biological and genetic variability of the parasite, the immunological and genetic basis for disease resistance of the fish host, and the effect of environmental parameters on disease in both the invertebrate  and vertebrate hosts. We use this information to develop predictive models for disease that are providing important keys to understanding the effects of these pathogens and to providing resource managers with tools for mitigating those effects. We also use genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic method to address questions about the evolution of myxozoans from their Cnidarian relatives, and to determine what they have lost or gained on their road to parasitism.

I am currently Professor and Head of the Department of Microbiology and Director of the John L. Fryer Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory at Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR, USA). However, beginning with this meeting I begin a year of sabbatical to explore a long-term interest in the connections between art and science. During this year I will work with colleagues in laboratories in Spain and the Czech Republic to explore our science through a different lens.

Dr Tim Littlewood

Natural History Museum

ISFPX Plenary Speaker

Dr Elizabeth Warburton

University of Georgia, USA

Elsevier Plenary Lecture Series
IJP: Parasites and Wildlife (PAW) Invited Lecturer
Read more about Elizabeth

Dr. Elizabeth M. Warburton is a Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases Fellow at the Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia (Athens, USA). Dr. Warburton broadly studies the ecology of host-parasite systems over various spatiotemporal scales with particular interest in mammalian systems. Her research ranges from continent-wide analyses of drivers of parasite community structure to bidirectional fitness effects between individual parasites and hosts. Dr. Warburton’s current projects use the African buffalo-nematode system in Kruger National Park (South Africa) to examine the community dynamics of parasitic and free-living stages of helminths across multiple spatial scales. Additionally, Dr. Warburton is widely recognized for her work on eco-evolutionary relationships between fleas and desert rodents during her tenure at the Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Sde Boker, Israel) as a Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar and Blaustein Prestigious Fellow. Throughout her academic career Dr. Warburton also worked in several other host-parasite systems including bats and helminths as a Ph.D. student (Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, USA), macroinvertebrates and facultatively parasitic nematodes as a M.S. student (Emporia State University, Emporia, USA), and helminths of companion animals as a B.S. student (Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, USA). Dr. Warburton’s broad interests in parasitology have led her to contribute to more than 30 journal publications and a forthcoming book chapter as well as serve as a helminthology section editor for Parasitology Research.

Dr Meta Roestenberg

Leiden University Medical Centre

Elsevier Plenary Lecture Series
International Journal for Parasitology (IJP) Invited Lecturer

Read more about Meta

Meta Roestenberg is physician-scientist specialized in experimental human models for vaccine development. She was trained in internal medicine at the Radboud University Medical Center and the Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital, both in Nijmegen and spent some time in India, Namibia and The Philippines for medical training. During her PhD at the department of Medical Microbiology of the Radboud University Medical Center she developed a human model for malaria immunity using controlled human malaria infections.

Since 2014 she is registered as Infectious Diseases specialist at the Leiden University Medical Center where she holds a joined position as a scientist at the research laboratories of the department of Parasitology and as clinician within the department of Infectious Diseases. She leads a research group of translational scientists and is the clinical lead of the Leiden Controlled Human Infection Center, investigating the efficacy of a genetically attenuated malaria vaccine and developing human models for Schistosoma mansoni and Necator americanus to serve vaccine development. She is internationally known for her pioneering research using human models to serve vaccine development. In addition, she actively practices travel medicine and clinical vaccinology.

In the future, Meta will continue to focus on clinical translational vaccine research to fight infectious diseases that cause significant morbidity and mortality among the poorest people in the world.

Professor Jane Hodgkinson

University of Liverpool

Elsevier Plenary Lecture Series
IJP: Drugs and Drug Resistance (DDR) Invited Lecturer

Associate Professor Sho Shirakashi

Kindai University, Japan

Plenary speaker

Associate Professor Shokoofeh Shamsi

Charles Sturt University

Symposium speaker

Dr Clare Anstead

University of Melbourne

Symposium speaker

Dr Tina Marie Weier Oldham

The Institute of Marine Research (HI), Norway

Symposium speaker

Dr Scott Carver

University of Tasmania

Symposium speaker

Associate Professor Tania de Koning-Ward

Deakin University

Symposium speaker
Read more about Tania

Tania de Koning-Ward is a Professor in Molecular Microbiology at the School of Medicine at Deakin University and an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow. Here she heads a malaria research groups where her program aims to understand at a molecular level how malaria parasites are able to extensively renovate their host cell to cause disease and secure their own survival. She uses the most advanced molecular tools to genetically engineer human and rodent malaria parasites to dissect their biological function, in combination with in vitro culture and in vivo malaria models to examine key parasite-host interactions, with the over-arching goal to identify new vaccine and drug targets for malaria intervention.

Dr Ken Mackenzie

University of Aberdeen

ISFPX Symposium speaker

Dr Michael Smout

James Cook University

Symposium speaker

Associate Professor Mark Fast

University of Prince Edward Island

Symposium speaker

Jon Bryan

Jon Bryan Photography

Public lecture on the photography of marine life in the wild
Read more about Jon

Jon Bryan started snorkeling in Tasmania as a kid, learned to scuba dive in 1978 and has since logged over 4000 dives to take photographs. As well as doing lots of normal recreational diving, which is usually limited to depths shallower than 40 m, Jon does deep technical diving using closed circuit rebreathers and mixed gases. Recently, in 2019, he and two other divers did the first 100 m deep dive off Tasmania’s east coast.

Jon studied marine biology and does part time work for the Tasmanian Conservation Trust on marine issues. He was deeply involved with the campaign to stop the super trawler and is a member of all Tasmanian Government Fishery Advisory Committees.

Jon has dived in many places around the world, on every continent except Africa, and remains an enthusiastic underwater photographer.