Ashleigh B. Smythe
Hamilton College
198 College Hill Rd.
Clinton, NY 13323

Office: Science Center 2033
Office phone:  315-859-4997

Research Interests

My research focuses on the evolution and ecology of invertebrate animals.  While my primary research interest is in the evolution and diversity of free-living nematodes, students in my lab also conduct research on other invertebrates, especially parasites.

En face view of the bacterial feeding soil nematode <em>Acrobeloides uberrinus</em> (strain JB-27) <br />Photo: Ashleigh B. Smythe
<em>Cyclicolaimus</em> sp. has a comb of teeth in its mouth and large sensilla (setae).<br />Photo: W. Duane Hope
A juvenile of the marine nematode <em>Mesacanthoides</em> sp.<br />Photo: Ashleigh B. Smythe
<em>Cheironchus</em> sp. has a large, spiral ampid, a chemosensory structures foud in all nematodes.<br />Photo: W. Duane Hope
The trematode <em>Quinqueserialis quinqueserialis</em> from the intestine of the muskrat.<br />Photo: Calvin Johnson
The trematode <em>Echinostoma</em> sp. from the intestine of the muskrat.<br />Photo: Calvin Johnson
<em>Ceramonema</em> sp. are so named for the ceramic tile-like appearance of their cuticle.<br />Photo: W. Duane Hope
The esophageal reagion of a species of <em>Cephalobus</em> sp., a bacterial-feeding soil nematode.<br />Photo: Ashleigh B. Smythe
The head region of <em>Neotylocephalus</em> sp., sporting a circular amphid and flaps of cuticle.<br />Photo: A.B. Smythe and W.D.Hope, 2006
Members of the Epsilonematidae have a characteristic epsilon shape to their bodies.<br />Photo: Ashleigh B. Smythe
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Free-living marine nematodes

Marine sediments support by far the greatest diversity of nematode species, and I aim to understand their diversity, evoluton, and taxonomy.

Parasite ecology and evolution

My students and I study a variety of parasitic worms.  We have examined the diversity and distribution of leeches infecting turtles, the community of parasites in muskrats, and the effect of the mouse nematode Heligmosomoides bakeri on a model of type I diabetes.