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Dr. Alyssa Gleichsner

Assistant Professor

Portrait of Alyssa GleichsnerI am a molecular and disease ecologist whose primary areas of expertise are in Parasitology and Molecular Ecology. I use ecological, genetic, and bioinformatics approaches to examine patterns of host-parasite co-evolution and to study disease trajectories in human and wildlife populations. My current study systems include trematode flatworms in local wildlife and aquatic fungal and bacterial pathogens that infect freshwater zooplankton. I also have a strong interest in education research, through which I investigate the impacts of authentic research experiences on learning, and effective instructive approaches to incorporate statistics into life sciences curricula.


  • Ph.D. Purdue University
  • B.Sc. Pennsylvania State University

Teaching Areas

  • BIO 101L – General Biology Lab
  • BIO 102L – General Biology Lab
  • BIO 208 – Evolution
  • BIO 343 – Parasitology

Research Areas

  • Host-Parasite co-evolution
  • Life history adaptations in parasites and their hosts
  • Host-Parasite-Environment interactions
  • Effective teaching practices using authentic research experiences

Selected Publications

(*denotes an undergraduate author)

  • Gleichsner, A.M., Reinhart, K.*, and Minchella, D.J. 2018. The influence of related and unrelated co-infections on parasite dynamics and virulence. Oecologia doi: https://doi.org/10/1007/s00442-017-4035-9
  • Gleichsner, A.M., Cleveland, J.A*., and Minchella, D.J. 2016. One stimulus – Two responses: Host and parasite life history variation in response to environmental stress. Evolution 70(11):2640-2646. doi:10.1111/evo.13061
  • Gleichsner, A.M. and Flaherty, L. 2016. Mini Cases in choosing appropriate statistical tests to analyze ecological data. National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science.
  • Carlton-Parker, L., Gleichsner, A., Adedokun, O.A., and Forney, J. 2016. Targeting change: assessing a life science faculty learning community focused on increasing statistics content. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education. 44(6):517-525. doi: 10.1002/bmb.20974
  • Gleichsner, A.M., Theile, L. and Minchella, D.J. 2015. It’s all about those bases: the need for incorporating parasite genetic heterogeneity into the development of schistosome vaccines. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 9(6): e0003805. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003805
  • Gleichsner, A.M. and Minchella, D.J. 2014. The impact of host vagility and resistance on parasite virulence. Parasitology 141(8): 1018-1030
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