My research interests fall at the intersections of parasitology, ecotoxicology, and community ecology. I am particularly interested in the role of parasites in ecosystems. Parasites are ubiquitous ecosystem components that negatively affect their host’s behavior, reproduction, and overall fitness. However, the broader ramifications of parasite and disease outbreaks on ecosystem energy flow and nutrient cycling remain unclear. Moreover, man-made contaminants and altered nutrient inputs are becoming standard components of most ecosystems worldwide. So we are interested in how contaminants alter parasite-host and predator-prey interactions. Our lab group tackles research questions using models, laboratory experiments, field experiments, and field surveys in both freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems.

     Students in the Bernot lab have pursued scientific studies in basic parasitology, behavioral ecology, tests of ecological theory, and ecotoxicology. The National Science Foundation, Indiana State Department of Health, and Indiana Academy of Science have provided funding for this research. Dr. Bernot teaches Principles of Biology 2 (BIO112), Methods in Ecology (BIO217), Invertebrate Zoology (ZOOL432), and Multivariate Statistics for Environmental Science (BIO657). Dr. Bernot is an active mentor in the Environmental Science PhD program and is currently accepting enthusiastic masters and doctoral students into his research group.