Since I had graduated as behavioural ecologist from the University of Jena in Germany, I have been involved in studies on host-parasite interactions in natural model systems.
Parasite infections are effected by a myriad of factors, and I am interested in the ecological and evolutionary basis of variation in infection levels within and between individuals in natural host populations. After my undergraduate studies (University of Tübingen and Jena (D), University of Aberdeen (UK), and ANU Canberra (AUS)), I moved on to Göttingen (Germany) where I conducted my PhD project at the Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology Group, German Primate Center. I spent several months observing and sampling free-ranging lemur populations in Kirindy Forest, Western Madagascar. Using an interdisciplinary approach that combined individual parasite, genetic, hormone, and sociobiological information, I was able to identify patterns and determinants of inter-individual variation in gastro-intestinal parasites infection in red-fronted lemurs and potential effect of these factors on individual reproduction.
After a period of maternal leave and lecturing at the University of Göttingen, I am currently working as DAAD-funded post doc at Lund University with Lars Råberg. The aim of the project is to develop and use molecular tools for identification of helminth infections in rodent hosts and assess host specificity across species.
Clough D, Kappeler PM, Walter L (2011) Genetic regulation of parasite infection: empirical evidence of the functional significance of an IL4 gene SNP on nematode infections in wild primates. Frontiers in Zoology, 8:9
Clough D, Heistermann M, Kappeler PM (2010) Host intrinsic determinants and potential consequences of parasite infection in free-ranging red-fronted lemurs (Eulemur fulvus rufus). American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 142: 441-452
Clough D (2010). Gastro-intestinal parasites of red-fronted lemurs in Kirindy forest, western Madagascar. Journal for Parasitology, 96: 245-251
Post-doc host: Lars Råberg