Mark Erik Torchin
Address: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
ATT: Mark Torchin
9100 PANAMA CITY PL
Washington DC 20521-9100
US Telephone: (+1 202) 633-4700 (x 28713)
Telephone: +507 212.8713
FAX: +507 212.8790
Marine population and community ecology
Broadly speaking my research interests encompass how biotic interactions affect the distribution and abundance of species. I am particularly interested in how parasites affect the demographics of their hosts and how community structure is altered by the presence of parasites. Although parasites are often common in many systems, their roles are poorly understood, particularly in marine and estuarine environments. I seek to understand the complex ways parasites interact with free-living species and the extent to which they influence the structure of host populations and the communities in which they live.
Much of my research focuses on biological invasions. Introduced species provide a way to test predictions about the ecology and evolution of host-parasite interactions as well as the effect of parasites in natural communities. I am interested in the understanding the extent to which parasites affect the demographic success of introduced species as well as exploring the impact of introduced parasites on native communities. Because the impacts of introduced species are a direct function of their demographic success, understanding factors explaining their success will help manage these invaders.
Education and Degrees
Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2002
M.S., University of Oregon, 1994
B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1991
Miura, O., A. M. Kuris, M. E. Torchin, R. F. Hechinger and S. Chiba. (2006). Parasites alter host phenotype and create a new ecological niche for snail hosts. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Online 10.1098/rspb.2005.3451
Mitchell, C.E., A. Agrawal, J. Bever, G. Gilbert, R.A. Hufbauer, J. Klironomos, J. Maron, W. Morris, I. Parker, A. Power, E. Seabloom, M.E. Torchin, D. Vázquez. (2006). Interactions among mutualists, enemies, and competitors in plant invasions. Ecology Letters Online doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2006.00908.x
Torchin, M.E., H.F. Hechinger, T.C. Huspeni, K.L. Whitney and K.D. Lafferty. 2005. Ecology of the introduced ribbed mussel (Geukensia demissa) in Estero de Punta Banda, Mexico: interactions with the native cord grass, Spartina foliosa. Biological Invasions 7: 607-614.
Torchin, M.E., J.E. Byers and T.C. Huspeni. 2005. Differential parasitism of native and introduced snails: replacement of a parasite fauna. Biological Invasions 7: 885-894.
Goddard, J.H.R., M.E. Torchin, K.D. Lafferty and A.M. Kuris. 2005. Host specificity of Sacculina carcini, a potential biological control agent of the introduced European green crab, Carcinus meanas. Biological Invasions 7: 895-912.
Miura, O., A. M. Kuris, M. E. Torchin, R. F. Hechinger, E. J. Dunham and S. Chiba. 2005. Molecular genetic analyses reveal cryptic species of trematodes in the intertidal gastropod, Batillaria cumingi (Crosse). International Journal for Parasitology 35: 793-801.
Torchin, M.E. and C.E. Mitchell. 2004. Parasites, pathogens and invasions by plants and animals. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2: 183-190.
Torchin, M.E., K.D. Lafferty, A.P. Dobson, V.J. McKenzie and A.M. Kuris. 2003. Introduced species and their missing parasites. Nature 421: 628-630.
Kuris, A.M., M.E. Torchin and K.D. Lafferty. 2002. Fecampia erythrocephala rediscovered: prevalence and distribution of a parasitoid of the European shore crab, Carcinus maenas. Journal of the Marine Biological Association, UK 82: 955-960.
Torchin, M.E., K.D. Lafferty and A.M. Kuris. 2002. Parasites and marine invasions. Parasitology 124: S137-S151.
Torchin, M.E., K.D. Lafferty and A.M. Kuris. 2001. Release from parasites as natural enemies: increased performance of a globally introduced marine crab. Biological Invasions 3: 333-345.
Torchin, M.E., K.D. Lafferty and A.M. Kuris. 1996. Infestation of an introduced host, the European green crab, Carcius maenas, by a native symbiotic nemertean egg predator, Carcinonemertes epialti. Journal of Parasitology 83: 449-453.