University of Connecticut
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
75 N. Eagleville Road, U-3043
Storrs, Connecticut 06269
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 tapeworms that live as adults in the intestine 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 their morphology changed through time), biogeography (how have species in this genus changed their geographic location through time) and co-evolution (how have Acanthobothrium species evolved with their hosts through time).
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
NSF PEET Trainee (Partnership for Enhancing Expertise in Taxonomy)
Primary Advisor: Janine N. Caira
Research Project: Systematic biology, biogeographic patters 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
In review. 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.
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
|June 2007||Molecular analysis of Acanthobothrium and its implications for geographic versus host associations as determinates of cestode phylogeny. The First North American Parasitology Congress, Annual meeting of the American Society of Parasitologists. Merida, Mexico. File:AbstractASP2007.pdf|
|March 2007||Erection of a new genus: A total evidence approach to cestode systematics. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Research Symposium. University of Connecticut. Storrs, Connecticut. File:AbstractSS2007.pdf|
|March 2006||Attachment in challenging environments: Functional morphology of three distinct scolex morphotypes of Acanthobothrium. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Research Symposium. University of Connecticut. Storrs, Connecticut. File:AbstractSS2006.pdf|
|July 2005||A comparison of scolex mircothrix morphology between the plerocercoid and adult of Calliobothrium cf. verticillatum (Tetraphyllidea: Onchobothriidae). 5th International Workshop on Cestode Systematics and Phylogeny. Institute of Parasitology, Academy of Sciences. Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic. File:AbstractCzech2005.pdf|
|March 2005||Hanging out in shark guts: An investigation of tapeworm microthrix morphology. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Research Symposium. University of Connecticut. Storrs, Connecticut. File:AbstractSS2005.pdf|
|July 2004||Investigation of Acanthobothrium (Cestoda: Tetraphyllidea) diversity from two species of Guitarfish (Rhinobatos) off costal Senegal. Seventy-ninth Annual Meeting of the American Society of Parasitologists. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. File:AbstractASP2004.pdf|
|June 2003||Molecular Phylogeny of Monachine Seals with Implications for their Origin and Diversification. Evolution 2003. Joint Meeting: The Society for the Study of Evolution, The American Society of Naturalists, and The Society for Systematic Biologists. California State University. Chico, California. File:AbstractEvolution2003.pdf|
|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.|
|May 2007||The Trypanorhyncha (Cestoda: Platyhelminthes). Characters and Classification Workshop. UConn, CT.|
|March 2007||PEET VI: Reaching Out. Athens, Georgia|
|September 2004||PEET V: Spatial & Temporal Issues in Taxonomy. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois|
Check out the Global Cestode Database, you won't be disappointed!
|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.|
Coming soon! Fall 2008 Foundations of Invertebrate Zoology. UConn.
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.|