Martin Marinov, PhD

I joined Avian Blood Parasites Research Group in 2011 when I started my PhD. My main area of research interest is behavioural ecology. I am especially interested in two topics with rapid upsurge during the last 20 years: host-parasite interactions and animal personalities. Together with my colleagues, I use passerine birds and haemosporidian parasites as a model system in order to test hypotheses about the possible interactions between both phenomena. Similarly to the morphological and physiological traits, animal behaviour varies considerably between individuals of the same population. This variation can be manipulated by parasites in two possible ways. Firstly, parasites can infect easily those individuals who expose themselves more readily to vectors. Secondly, parasites have the potential to alter directly host behaviour and thus may contribute to variation in long-term scale. These interactions may have important consequences on bird populations, with implication for their fitness and survival, and can reveal the mechanism underlying the host-parasite co-evolution.