Jillian Detwiler

Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

University of Manitoba

Faculty Member

Host-Parasite Interactions

BS (Honours - Biology), BA (Music)

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2002

MS - Parasitology

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2004

PhD - Molecular ecology and phylogenetics of freshwater trematode parasites

Purdue University, 2010

Contact information


University of Manatoba : Buller208B


Introductory Parasitology (lecture and lab)

Molecular Ecology of Parasites (independent study)

Biodiversity and Sustainability (lecture) 

Research and Teaching

Research areas

  • Ecology and evolution of host-parasite interactions.


Lab trainees:

     Dr. Olwyn Friesen, Weston postdoc

     Ashley Pidwerbesky, MSc

     Emma Rempel, MSc


Jillian Detwiler studies the ecology and evolution of host-parasite interactions. She earned a B.S. (Biology), B.A. (music), and M.S. (parasitology) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her Ph.D. at Purdue University focused on the molecular ecology and phylogenetics of freshwater trematode parasites. During her postdoctoral work at Texas A&M University, she investigated how the interplay between transmission and mating systems influenced parasite inbreeding.

Dr. Detwiler joined the University of Manitoba in 2013. Her research uses theory and techniques from ecology and evolutionary biology to understand the factors that influence host-parasite interactions. She integrates field and experimental data with ecological, phylogenetic, and population genetic analyses to reveal novel insights into parasite biodiversity, host specificity, and transmission.

In particular, her research program is aimed at:

     1) Discovering parasite biodiversity: New species and genetic lineages of wildlife parasites

     2) Performing integrative taxonomy to accurately identify species, particularly trematode parasites and freshwater snails

     3) Identifying ecological and behavioural influences on host specificity in trematode-parasite systems. The lab is especially focused on how parasites modify the
         behaviour of their intermediate hosts and understanding the mechanistic role of signaling molecules (oxylipins).