Olwyn Friesen

Ecological and Evolutionary Parasitology

BSc(hons), MSc, PhD

© O.C.Friesen


Welcome to my web based curriculum vitae.


I am post-doctoral fellow at the University of Manitoba, working with Dr. Jillian Detwiler. As a Weston Family Northern Scientist, my research focuses on the diversity of molluscs and their parasites throughout northern Canada. The results of this work will provide critical information on the biogeography of snail species and their parasites in the Arctic and insights into ecosystem health. 


I completed my PhD in 2018 at the University of Otago, in Dunedin, New Zealand, with Dr. Clément Lagrue and Dr. Robert Poulin, in the Evolutionary and Ecological Parasitology Research Group. My research was focused on parasite-mediated interspecific interactions in a community of crustaceans. I was examining relationships between amphipods, isopods, and their parasites within freshwater communities.


I completed my master's degree at the University of Manitoba, with Dr. Jim Roth. I studied the relationships between the diet of canids, including wolves, arctic and red foxes, and their parasite communities. I also considered how other factors, including behaviour, life history, and intraspecific variation (e.g., age and sex), may also influence canid parasite intensity, abundance, and prevalence. I am interested in studying the ecology of parasites and their hosts, including the influence of parasites on trophic interactions, food webs, and behaviour. I am further interested in the impacts of parasites on predator-prey relationships and their combined effect with other stressors on their hosts.


Prior to my master's work, I completed my B.Sc. (hons) in zoology at the University of Manitoba. My honours research, with Dr. B. Hann, examined how zooplankton could be used in rapid bioassessment of lakes as they are a keystone lentic community. They occupy an intermediate trophic position in the food web of a lake and are responsive to both top-down and bottom-up trophic interactions.

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© Olwyn Friesen