University of Connecticut
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
75 N. Eagleville Road, U-3043
Storrs, Connecticut 06269
W (860) 486-1882
C (860) 428-7324
There is no doubt in my mind that all life on Earth is incredible and worthy of our attention and our protection. My research concentrates on parasites of sharks, skates and rays (i.e., elasmobranchs). I study a single genus of tapeworm, Acanthobothrium, which includes ~165 described species. Since the erection of the genus by van Beneden in 1850, Acanthobothrium species have been described worldwide and it is now well established that the genus has a cosmopolitan distribution with the bulk of it’s diversity found equatorially, not surprisingly, where their shark and ray hosts exhibit their greatest diversity. Ongoing global collections and taxonomic efforts (i.e., describing and classifying species) have indicated that we have only just begun to appreciate the diversity of life that exists in this tapeworm genus.
My goal is to become an expert in the biology of this group. My dissertation includes the description of many species new to science, a re-treatment of a subset of previously described species with inadequate descriptions and an evolutionary hypothesis based on molecular DNA data. I plan to use my taxonomic expertise and evolutionary hypothesis to answer questions regarding character evolution (how has the morphology of this group changed through time), biogeography (how has the geographic location of this group changed through time) and co-evolution (how have Acanthobothrium species evolved with their hosts through time).
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
National Science Foundation PEET Trainee (Partnership for Enhancing Expertise in Taxonomy)
Primary Advisor: Janine N. Caira
Research Project: Systematic biology, biogeographic patterns and coevolutionary relationships of the elasmobranch tapeworm genus Acanthobothrium and its close relatives.
San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Primary Advisor: Annalisa Berta
Research Project: Historical biogeography and phylogeny of monachine seals (Pinnipedia: Phocidae) based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data.
Mount Allison University, New Brunswick, Canada
2008 Twohig, M. E., J. N. Caira and C. A. Fyler. Two New Cestode Species from the Dwarf Whipray, Himantura walga (Batoidea: Dasyatidae), from Borneo with Comments on Site and Mode of Attachment. Journal of Parasitology. 94(5): 1118-1127
2007 Fyler, C. A. Comparison of Microthrix Ultrastructure and Morphology on the
Plerocercoid and Adult Scolex of Calliobothrium cf. verticillatum
(Tetraphyllidea: Onchobothriidae). Journal of Parasitology. 93(1): 4-11
2006 Fyler, C. A. and J. N. Caira. Five New Species of Acanthobothrium (Tetraphyllidea: Onchobothriidae) From the Freshwater Stingray Himantura chaophraya (Batoidea: Dasyatidae) in Malaysian Borneo. Journal of Parasitology. 92(1): 105–125
2005 Fyler, C. A., T. W. Reeder, A. Berta, G. Antonelis, A. Aguilar and E. Androukaki. Historical biogeography and phylogeny of monachine seals (Pinnipedia: Phocidae) based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data. Journal of Biogeography 32: 1267–1279
|August 2006||Morphology and Attachment of Three Distinct Scolex Morphotypes of Acanthobothrium (Tetraphyllidea:Onchobothriidae) from the Roughtail Stingray (Dasyatis centroura). 11th International Congress of Parasitology (ICOPA) hosted by the British Society for Parasitology. Glasgow, Scotland.|
|August 2002||Molecular Phylogeny of Monk Seals. Evolution 2002. Joint Meeting: The Society for the Study of Evolution, The American Society of Naturalists, and The Society for Systematic Biologists. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.|
June 2008 6th International Workshop on Cestode Systematics and Phylogeny. Organized by the Slovak Parasitological Society. Congress Centre Smolenice Castle, Slovakia
May 2007 The Trypanorhyncha (Cestoda: Platyhelminthes). Characters and Classification Workshop. UConn, CT.
March 2007 PEET VI: Reaching Out. Athens, Georgia
August 2005 5th International Workshop on Cestode Systematics and Phylogeny. Institute of Parasitology, Academy of Sciences. Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
PEET V: Spatial & Temporal Issues in Taxonomy. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
Check out the Global Cestode Database.
|January 2007||Sofia, Bulgaria. Parasite Diversity Group, Central Laboratory of General Ecology.|
|January 2006||London, UK. The Natural History Museum, Department of Zoology.|
|March 2004||Geneva, Switzerland. Natural History Museum.|
|March 2004||Sofia, Bulgaria. Parasite Diversity Group, Central Laboratory of General Ecology.|
Fall 2008 UConn. Foundations of INVERTEBRATE ZOOLOGY.
2007 Foundations of Parasitology. UConn.
2007 Current Topics in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. Seminar for upper lever undergraduates. UConn.
2002-2003 Undergraduate training in molecular phylogenetic theory and lab techniques. SDSU.
2002-2003 Organismal Biology lab for biology majors. SDSU.
2000-2002 General Biology lab for non-biology majors. SDSU.
|January 2008 Puerto Montt, Chile. Assisted in the collection of tapeworms of sharks and rays off the coast of southern Chile. Field sites included Puerto Montt and Penguin Land (Chiloe Island)|
|October 2006 Gulf Coast, USA. Assisted in the collection of tapeworms of sharks and rays in the Gulf Coast.|
|January 2005 Senegal, Africa. Assisted in the collection of tapeworms of sharks and rays off the coast of Senegal. Field sites included St. Louis, Ouakam, Soumbedioune, Mbour, Joal and Djjifer, Diogue, Elinkine and Kafountine.|
|January 2004 Senegal, Africa. Assisted in the collection of tapeworms of sharks and rays off the coast of Senegal. Field sites included St. Louis, Ouakam, Soumbedioune, Mbour, Joal and Djjifer.|
2007-2008 American Society of Parasitologits - Student Representative
2005-2006 UConn EBB Graduate Student Association - President
2003-2005 UConn Graduate Student Senate - EEB Student Representative
2004-2005 UConn Faculty Standards Committee - Graduate Student Representative
2003-2008 UConn EBB Graduate Student Association - Various committees throughout the years including the Fall Departmental Event Organizing Committee, Student Symposium Organizing Committee, T-Shirt committee, and GreenGrads