Alexandra Grossi

Ph.D candidate

My research focuses on symbionts of birds. For my M.Sc. with Dr. Terry Galloway at the University of Manitoba, I studied chewing lice (Phthiraptera) infesting Canada geese and mallards. The main objective was to examine infestation parameters of louse species infesting these hosts. This led to the synonymization of Anatoecus dentatus (Scopoli) and Anatoecus icterodes (NItzsch) and to examining the spatial distribution of the of chewing lice on Canada geese and mallards. For my Ph.D. I am working with Dr. Heather Proctor, examining arthropods associated with birds. I am working on two projects. The first looks at the distribution pattern and population genetics of ectosymbionts of non-migratory rock pigeons (Columba livia) and migratory ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapillus). The second examines the geographical variation of nest arthropods of tree swallows to assess microclimate factors that might affect assemblage structure of these arthropods.