School of Life Sciences

Image of Hanna Hartikainen

Hanna Hartikainen

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



I am an evolutionary ecologist working on host-parasite interactions in freshwater systems. I graduated with a PhD from the University of Reading and have worked at the Natural History Museum London, Eawag and ETH Zurich. I joined University of Nottingham in 2019.

Expertise Summary

The coevolutionary structuring between hosts and parasites fundamentally determines how diseases spread and emerge at local and global scales. Environmental change can influence coevolutionary and ecological dynamics, e.g. through changes in species distributions or virulence and resistance trade-offs. My research aims to understand better how ecological and evolutionary dynamics can inform and improve epidemiological understanding of natural wildlife diseases, to facilitate the management of complex disease scenarios, including those of economic importance, especially in the context of changing climates. My main research themes focus on

1) Coevolution and disease

2) Host-parasite ecology

3) Selection and sex

Teaching Summary

Freshwater Ecology


Research Summary

Coevolution and disease

Disease outbreaks flare up in unpredictable fashion. But what are the sources of this unpredictability and variance? Can inclusion of coevolutionary dynamics be informative for disease prediction? Previous research in my lab has demonstrated that co-evolutionary processes are linked to disease outbreaks but how diseases in general respond to climate change crucially depends on adaptive potential. We continue to address questions related to disease outbreaks and host-parasite interactions using freshwater systems. Research in our group uses parasites of aquatic invertebrates to better understand coevolutionary dynamics and links with disease, we conduct field and laboratory experiments. Our main study system is myxozoan parasites, including Proliferative Kidney Disease of salmonid fish.

School of Life Sciences

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham NG7 2UH

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