Claire Loiseau

Senior Research FellowUCLA Center for Tropical Research

Phone: (310) 206-6234

Center for Tropical Research
Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

University of California, Los Angeles
Lakretz Hall, Suite 300
619 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1496

Research Interests

My interests can broadly be defined as evolutionary ecology in different aspects. I am particularly interested in anthropogenic impacts on host-parasite interactions, such as changes in habitat and climate change.

My current research focuses on two main projects. One is on the evolutionary strategies of malaria parasites among different bird host communities across Africa. With environmental changes, we anticipate a change in the distribution of both specialist and generalist parasites with potential impacts on bird communities.

My second project focuses on global climate change and spread of malaria in Alaska. As a comparison with tropical regions, we wish to determine how climate change can also affect parasite transmission in Arctic regions since the main prediction is that malaria parasites will spread to both higher altitudes and to northern latitudes with global warming. For this project, I also study vector ecology that plays a crucial role in the spread of avian blood parasites.        

Understand how ecological changes affect the prevalence, distribution and strategy of specialization of parasites is an important challenge both in terms of the ecological consequences of the dynamics of the interaction between the host and the parasite as well in terms of conservation.

Past Research Projects

  • Association between MHC diversity and risk of infection with avian malaria parasite
  • The nature of selection acting on MHC by comparison of patterns of genetic differentiation based on MHC and microsatellite loci
  • Effects of stress on behavior and immunity
  • Effects of corticosterone on carotenoid-based signal

Selected Publications

Loiseau C, Harrigan RJ, Robert A, Bowie RCK, Thomassen HA, Smith TB, Sehgal RNM. Host and habitat specialization of avian malaria in Africa. Molecular Ecology. In press.

Loiseau C, Zoorob R, Robert A, Chastel O, Julliard R, Sorci G. 2011. Plasmodium relictum infection and MHC diversity in the house sparrow (Passer domesticus). Proceedings of London Royal Society 278:1264-1272.

Loiseau C, Iezhova TA, Valkiunas G, Chasar A, Hutchinson A, Buermann W, Smith TB, Sehgal RN. 2010. Spatial variation of haemosporidian parasite infection in African rainforest bird species. Journal of Parasitology 96:21-29.

Loiseau C, Richard M, Garnier S, Chastel O, Julliard R, Zoorob R, Sorci G. 2009. Diversifying selection on MHC class I in the house sparrow (Passer domesticus). Molecular Ecology 18:1331-1340.

Chasar A, Loiseau C, Valkiunas G, Iezhova T, Smith T, Sehgal RN. 2009. Prevalence and diversity patterns of avian blood parasites in degraded African rainforest habitats. Molecular Ecology 18:4121-4133.

Loiseau C, Zoorob R, Garnier S, Birard J, Federici P, Julliard R, Sorci G. 2008. Antagonistic effects of a Mhc Class I allele on malaria infected house sparrows. Ecology Letters 11:258-265.

CTR Bird

Center for Tropical Research | UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
La Kretz Hall, Suite 300 | 619 Charles E. Young Dr. East | Los Angeles, CA 90095-1496

The Center for Tropical Research, located on the third floor of La Kretz Hall, is part of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California, Los Angeles. For general inquiries, contact Christa Gomez, CTR Office Manager, at (310) 206-6234, or by email at Visitors are always welcome.

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