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Parasitism: The Diversity and Ecology of Animal Parasites

  • Thoroughly revised to meet the needs of a new generation of parasitology students, whether their interest is in ecology, conservation biology, evolution, immunology or health sciences
  • Balances traditional approaches in parasitology with modern studies in ecology and evolution, presenting a unique framework to help students understand the complexities of the subject
  • Using a minimum of jargon and mathematical detail, the text is richly illustrated with over 300 figures and numerous case study boxes to aid and encourage students

By: Timothy M Goater(Author), Cameron P Goater(Author), Gerald W Esch(Author), John C Holmes(Foreword By)

497 pages, 30 colour & 283 b/w photos and illustrations, 2 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Mar 2014 | Edition: 2 | #199710 | ISBN-13: 9780521122054
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £49.99 $70/€57 approx
Hardback | Mar 2014 | Edition: 2 | #199709 | ISBN-13: 9780521190282
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £116.00 $162/€132 approx

About this book

Reflecting the enormous advances made in the field over the past ten years, Parasitism: The Diversity and Ecology of Animal Parasites synthesizes the latest developments in the ecology and evolution of animal parasites against a backdrop of parallel advances in parasite systematics, biodiversity and life cycles. This second edition has been thoroughly revised to meet the needs of a new generation of parasitology students. Balancing traditional approaches in parasitology with modern studies in parasite ecology and evolution, the authors present basic ecological principles as a unifying framework to help students understand the complex phenomenon of parasitism. Richly illustrated with over 250 figures, the text is accompanied by case study boxes designed to help students appreciate the complexity and diversity of parasites and the scientists who study them. This unique approach, presented clearly and with a minimum of jargon and mathematical detail, encourages students from diverse backgrounds to think generally and conceptually about parasites and parasitism.

Advance praise:

"Combining the classical approach of presenting a summary of the biology of the major groups of parasites, with a broad overview of parasite ecology and evolution, this new edition will be a wonderful resource for teachers of undergraduate parasitology courses. The well-illustrated and easy-to-read text is unrivalled at the moment and will be a great tool to turn on a new generation of young minds to the wonders of parasitic organisms. A true parasitological tour de force!"
- Robert Poulin, University of Otago

"This is an extremely well written book that does an excellent job of integrating conceptual and organismal aspects of parasitology, which is not easy. The chapter on the evolution of host-parasite interactions does a very nice job of integrating micro- and macro-evolutionary approaches to this topic. The use of boxes to contain historical information and case studies is very effective. Personal accounts of the authors' own experiences studying and teaching parasitology are interesting and effective."
- Dale H. Clayton, University of Utah

"The authors have done a terrific job of implementing the dual approach stated in the title. The book combines a comprehensive and balanced presentation of parasite biodiversity with an insightful treatment of the various aspects of the ecology of host/parasite interactions. Their approach is synthetic, refreshingly original and effectively blends coverage of long-standing fundamentals of parasitology with modern advances in the field. Their clever use of text boxes highlighting intriguing parasitological examples is sure to capture the imagination of students of parasitology and other fields of biology alike, serving to illustrate the relevance and importance of the discipline overall."
- Janine N. Caira, University of Connecticut

"Interest in the ecology of infectious disease is exploding, often drawing in researchers with little background in the zoology of parasites. Parasitism gives the student both the systematic and zoological background to understand parasitology and the ecological and evolutionary context to understand why it is important to understand parasites. The authors, all extreme parasitophiles, have unmatched histories of teaching parasites to past and current generations of students. It is safe to say that Jerry Esch has read more papers about parasites than any living human. As a team, their approach is clear and scholarly, with many important updates since the first edition."
- Kevin D. Lafferty, US Geological Survey, University of California, Santa Barbara

"This is a wonderful and tractable text well suited for the undergraduate taking survey-type parasitology courses and those senior undergraduates enrolled in specialized courses on the ecology and evolution of parasites. It is a ready reference for researchers interested in the current state of knowledge of similar study problems as their own. There is a wealth of detail for well-selected examples, building on the rich experience of the authors as top-notch researchers and educators. Many examples are of medical or veterinarian or wildlife and conservation importance, meaning that they are particularly well suited to help deliver key problems and conceptual and empirical advances. This text is undoubtedly one that will come off the shelf again and again as students delve into the complex interactions between species of parasites and hosts and their current and past environments."
- Mark R. Forbes, Carleton University

"This is a well-organized integration of the diversity of ideas and methods that characterize this new field of parasite ecology. The style is easily readable, the details extraordinary, the story told from an evolutionary perspective. The first chapters lay the foundations for understanding parasite life cycles, describing the full diversity of weird and wonderful adaptations of these organisms. The focus on the organismal view is exciting, and written in the context of ideas from classic ecology. The short stories in the boxes add interesting talking points. This is a well-researched document, and even the pros will learn from this book; the literature cited sections at the chapter ends are thorough and up-to-date. The final chapters on ecology and evolution are very synthetic, and the use of examples of diverse parasite strategies to illustrate the history and current status of the field's major ideas works well. I highly recommend this book."
- Michael V. K. Sukhdeo, Rutgers University

"This is the book I would have loved to have available when I was teaching."
- John C. Holmes, from the Foreword

Reviews of the first edition:

"The authors and publishers have succeeded in producing a book that conveys all the fascinating complexity of host-parasite associations, and that should stimulate students to pursue postgraduate research and careers in parasitology. I would not hesitate to recommend it as the textbook of choice for any parasitology course with an ecological flavour."
- Robert Poulin, Parasitology

"The book is well written, clearly structured and excellently illustrated."
- Zoologischer Anzeiger

" [...] useful as an introduction to parasitology [...] the book will find its place on the shelf of already accomplished parasitologists, too."
- Jiri Lom, Folia Parasitologica

" [...] going to be a very useful textbook [...] this is an excellent book [...] and a bargain at the price."
- F. E. G. Cox, Biologist

Related titles

See the previous edition

Parasitism: The Diversity and Ecology of Animal Parasites

Almost all living organisms are exploited by parasites of one type or...

NHBS Price: £90.00 $126/€102 approx



1. Introduction
2. Immunological, pathological, and biochemical aspects of parasitism
3. Protista: the unicellular eukaryotes
4. Microsporida: the intracellular fungi
5. Myxozoa: the spore-forming cnidarians
6. Platyhelminthes: the flatworms
7. Acanthocephala: the thorny-headed worms
8. Nematoda: the roundworms
9. Nematomorpha: the horsehair worms
10. Pentastomida: the tongue worms
11. Arthropoda: the joint-legged animals
12. Parasite population ecology
13. Parasite community ecology
14. Parasite biogeography
15. Influence of parasites on hosts: from cells to ecosystems
16. Parasite evolutionary biology
17. Environmental parasitology: parasites as bioindicators of ecosystem health


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Timothy M. Goater is Professor and former Chair in the Biology Department at Vancouver Island University, British Columbia, Canada. During the past twenty years he has taught courses in introductory biology, parasitology, ecological parasitology, invertebrate zoology and entomology. His research interests focus on the population and community ecology of parasites.

Cameron P. Goater is Associate Professor and former Chair in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. His parasitological research roots are in the community ecology of helminths of waterfowl on the Canadian prairies and over the past fifteen years he has taught courses in introductory biology, invertebrate biology, field biology and symbiotic interactions. His current research interests are in the experimental ecology of helminth-host interactions.

Gerald W. Esch is Charles M. Allen Professor of Biology at Wake Forest University, North Carolina, USA, where he has taught for forty-seven years. He is widely regarded to be one of the world's leading ecological parasitologists and served as Editor of the Journal of Parasitology for nineteen years.

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