About the speaker
From the first moment I laid eyes on a garden lizard at the age of eight, admiring it camouflaged against a tree bark in my garden in Pakistan, I knew my future would involve animals. I travelled to the UK in 2010 to do my BSc in Zoology followed by my MSc and currently my PhD in Biosciences. My research focusses on infectious diseases and animal welfare. During my studies and research career, despite the overwhelming variety of biological form and function I encountered, I could not escape a constant presence. Parasites! They seemed to pop up whatever I studied in biology! Thus, it is not just a character flaw that makes me so fascinated by parasites! In particular, my research focusses on how most aspects of an animal’s welfare (including humans) will be influenced by parasites. I have published research that investigates how stress influences parasite infection dynamics. In a world that is rapidly changing in light of climate change, biologists are tasked with understanding how novel stressors (e.g. microplastic pollution) are influencing the constant host-parasite arms race. I am fortunate to be at the very forefront of these investigations!