top of page

Laura Nagel

I am interested in the role of natural selection during the process of adaptation in wild populations of animals. I am especially interested in the fitness impacts of parasites and host adaptive responses.

I am currently working with Dr. Fran Bonier and Dr. Paul Martin on mites and burying beetles. Nicrophorus spp. beetles are associated with phoretic mites from the family Uropodoidea (Poecilochirus spp.). These mites seem to aid beetles by reducing competition from flies at the carcasses at which all these organisms feed and reproduce on.


My PhD research was on evolutionary divergence in an ectoparasite of coral reef fishes in Australia. I did my MSc with Dolph Schluter at the University of British Columbia on reproductive isolation in threespine sticklebacks. My BSc in Biology is from the University of Toronto.  I did postdoctoral work with Mark Forbes on damselflies and mites at Carleton University and I studied coral symbioses at the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

I teach courses in ecology and animal behaviour with Arts and Science Online at Queens University.



Nagel, L., J. Mlynarek and M.R. Forbes. 2014. Comparing natural parasitism and resistance with proxies of host immune response in Lestid damselflies. Ecological Parasitology and Immunology. DOI: 10.4303/epi/235884


Mlynarek, J., L. Nagel, A. Iserbyt and M.R. Forbes. 2014 Constitutive measures of immunity do not explain resistance across damselfly-water mite associations. PLOS One.  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115539

Southcott, L., L. Nagel, T. Hatfield and D. Schluter. 2013. Components of premating isolation in threespine sticklebacks. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 110: 466–476

Nagel, L., J. Mlynarek and M.R. Forbes. 2011. Immune response to nylon filaments in two damselfly species that differ in their resistance to ectoparasitic mites.  Ecological Entomology 36: 736-743

Nagel, L., M. Zanuttig and M.R. Forbes. 2011. Escape of mites from host predators. Canadian Journal of Zoology 89: 213-218

Nagel, L., M. Zanuttig and M.R. Forbes. 2010. Selection on mite engorgement size affects mite spacing, host damselfly flight and host resistance. Evolutionary Ecology Research 12: 633-652

Nagel, L., T. Robb and M.R. Forbes. 2010. Inter-annual variation in prevalence and intensity of mite parasitism relates to the expression of damselfly resistance. BMC Ecology 10:5

Nagel, L., T. Robb and M.R. Forbes. 2009. Parasite-mediated selection amidst marked inter-annual variation in mite parasitism and damselfly life history traits. Ecoscience 16 (2): 265-270


Nagel, L. 2009. The role of vision in host-finding behaviour of the nocturnal ectoparasite Gnathia falcipenis (Crustacea: Isopoda). Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology 42: 31 - 42  


Nagel, L., R. D. Montgomerie and S. Lougheed. 2007. Evolutionary divergence in common marine ectoparasites Gnathia spp. (Isopoda: Gnathiidae) on the Great Barrier Reef: phylogeography, morphology and behaviour. The Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 94:569-587.


Day, T, L. Nagel, M. vanOppen and M.J. Caley. Factors affecting the evolution of bleaching resistance in corals. The American Naturalist.171(2): E72-E88.

Jones C.M., L. Nagel, G.L. Hughes, T.H. Cribb and A.S. Grutter. 2007. Host specificity of two species of Gnathia (Isopoda) determined by DNA sequencing blood meals. International Journal for Parasitology 37:927-935

Nagel, L. and A.S. Grutter. 2007. Host preference and specialization in Gnathia sp., a common parasitic isopod of coral reef fish. Journal of Fish Biology 70: 497-508


Nagel, L. and S. Lougheed. 2005.  Sequencing blood feeding marine parasites (Isopoda: Gnathiidae) can identify host fish to the species level. Journal of Parasitology 92 (3): 665-668


Rundle, H., L. Nagel, J. W. Boughman and D. Schluter. 2000. Natural selection and parallel speciation in sympatric threespine sticklebacks. Science 287:306-308


Nagel, L. and D. Schluter. 1998. Body size, natural selection and speciation in sticklebacks. Evolution 52: 209-218


Nagel, L. 1995. Studying the origins of biodiversity. Global Biodiversity 5: 21-23


Schluter, D. and L. M. Nagel. 1995.  Parallel speciation by natural selection. American Naturalist 146: 292-301

bottom of page