LABS: Living Monsters: Parasites, Pathogens & Parasitoids

Saturday, February 16th • 10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
540 South Marengo Avenue, Pasadena, California 91101
Grade Level: 8-12

Cost: $60 (Coordinator will invoice for payment after registration.)

Imagine a world where living organisms could be taken hostage and suffer while controlled by other energy-sucking organisms that live on their insides or outsides. Where instead of hiding, a mouse will run around, practically begging the cat to eat it, because its under the control of another organism that wants to be eaten by the cat. Imagine whole populations that just come crashing down due to microscopic organisms that can evade immune systems.

Welcome to the amazing world of parasites, pathogens and parasitoids! In this workshop, we will explore the different modes of parasitism, distinguishing among parasites, pathogens and parasitoids and how parasitism differs from predation. Students will obtain an overview of parasite-host interactions spanning across terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and several well-known parasitic diseases in humans and wildlife. Videos, prepared slides and dissections will be available for students to see the diversity of parasites and hosts in real life. Students will also have the opportunity to perform dissections on invertebrates (such as insects) to see if they can find these hidden monsters. By the end of this workshop, students will be well-versed in different types of trophic strategies, and the consequences of parasites on their hosts and populations.  This event is for students in grades 9-12.

Please note upon registration, a LABS Series team member will be in touch with you via email to confirm and finalize your child’s enrollment in the workshop.


About the Speaker

Dr. Julie Hopper has been an educator and researcher for over ten years. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and holds a PhD in Environmental Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Hopper has conducted research on parasite-host interactions and on invasive species in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems all over the world. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Southern California, studying parasites in marine plankton communities, with a current focus on parasites of toxic dinoflagellates that can cause harmful algal blooms. In her free time, she likes to stay active with hobbies including backpacking, rollerblading, surfing, capoeira, and aerial silks. Website:

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