Dr. Tim Ruhnke

Systematics and Evolution of Parasitic Platyhelminths, Environmental Parasitology

Systematics and Evolution of Parasitic Platyhelminths, Environmental Parasitology 
Dr. Ruhnke studies the phylogeny and evolution of tapeworms in sharks and rays, using both traditional phenotypic characterization as well as molecular (rDNA) approaches.


Fundamentals of Biology (BIOL 120)


I am engaged in a long term project on the taxonomy and systematics of tetraphyllidean tapeworms from sharks and stingrays. Currently, I am in the intial stages of preparing a monograph on taxonomy and systematics of a lineage of cestodes in sharks. In the past couple of years, I have described number of new tapeworm species, and my lab is involved in generating both morphological and molecular data in order to understand how these species are related to each other as well as existing species. This work has been funded by the National Science Foundation. My key collaborator in this work is Janine Caira of the University of Connecticut.


For several years, I was involved in an area of research I like to call Environmental Parasitology. There are a number of parasites that are typically parasitic in wild and domesticated animals that can infect humans. A number of these species can contaminate water sources that are used by humans. I investgated whether thermophilic anaerobic digestion removed two protozoan species that can infect humans. I completed similar work on the pig roundworm Ascaris suum.


Selected Publications

Dr. Tim
Dr. Tim Ruhnke
Professor of Biology
135 Hamblin Hall
Institute, WV 25112-1000
Phone: (304) 766-3210
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