IMG_2317I am fascinated by (or obsessed with) understanding how wildlife deals with disease. My research combines two groups of organisms with magnificent life-history strategies: birds and their haemosporidian parasites – a group of single-cell organisms that includes the infamous parasites that cause malaria in humans and in several other species of vertebrates (e.g. birds, lizards, deer, etc). Most questions I ask relate to determining how birds cope with infections while undergoing energetically demanding stages of their life-cycles (i.e. reproduction and migration). When I’m not doing science, you can find me helicopter parenting my poorly behaved dogs.

I am a postdoctoral associate at the University of Western Ontario (Western), being mentored by Dr. Beth MacDougall-Shackleton and Dr. Chris Guglielmo. I am associated to the Advanced Facility of Avian Research at Western and the National Aviary (PA, USA).

Contact me: leticiassoares[at] or ldesou2[at]
Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario

Academic Background:

  • PhD in Ecology, Evolution & Systematics – University of Missouri St Louis USA (advisor: Dr. Robert E. Ricklefs)
  • MSc in Ecology – National Institute for Amazonian Research, Brazil (advisor: Dr. Gonçalo Ferraz)
  • BSc in Biology, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil