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Clarisse Louvard

PhD Candidate

ResearcherID: U-4818-2018 | Research Gate
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  • BSc. (Honours) Marine Biology, 2017–2018. The University of Queensland
  • BSc. Marine Science, 2014–2016. The University of Queensland/SKEMA Business School (France)

Tuna-infecting trematodes: elucidating life-cycles in marine planktonic snail hosts


Despite the efforts of researchers worldwide, marine trematode parasites remain shrouded in mystery. After studying the small trematode family Bivesiculidae in reef fishes during my Honours degree, my current research focuses on the superfamily Hemiuroidea, some lineages of which infect tunas and mackerels. Their life-cycles remain largely unknown, especially concerning which mollusc animals they use as first intermediate hosts. As other taxonomists have, we hypothesise these trematodes infect pelagic planktonic molluscs as first hosts. However, the difficulty in obtaining these snails, associated with the classic rarity of these parasites among host populations, has greatly impeded the study of their life-cycles in the past.

My aim is to shed light on the global hemiuroid fauna infecting all types of pelagic planktonic molluscs, and the strategies they implement to find their definitive hosts: tunas and mackerels. I seek to understand how these complex, mysterious lineages might be interconnected with their multiple hosts in pelagic ecosystems, as well as how host-driven constraints enables evolutionary innovations to develop among these parasitic lineages.




My PhD project is funded by the Australia & Pacific Science Foundation (APSF), and the School of Biological Sciences and the Graduate School at the University of Queensland. Funds granted by these institutions will support field collection and the generation of indispensable molecular data.



  • Maloufi, S., Catherine, A., Mouillot, D., Louvard, C., Couté, A., Bernard, C., & Troussellier, M. (2016). Environmental heterogeneity among lakes promotes hyper β-diversity across phytoplankton communities. Freshwater Biology 61(5), 633–645.