Gerald W. Esch

Middle Bluegill infected with blackspot

Charles M. Allen Professor of Biology

B.S., Colorado College (1958)
M.S., University of Oklahoma (1961)
Ph.D., University of Oklahoma (1963)

211 Winston Hall

Areas of Interest

Parasitology, Aquatic Biology


Over the years, my research interests have focused on host/parasite relationships in aquatic ecosystems. In general, these studies have centered on the population and community dynamics of parasitic helminths in both vertebrate and vertebrate hosts. In more recent times, our work has involved snail-trematode interactions in a small farm pond located near the Wake Forest University campus. Specificially, we have attempted to identify those facors which structure infra- and component trematode communities in two species of pulmonate snails. Our studies have also been aimed at relating these factors to the transmission dynamics of allogenic and autogenic species that infect these snails and their vertebrate definitive hosts in the pond. These efforts have employed standard field procedures as well as modern biochemical and molecular techniques in the laboratory.

Selected Publications

GW Esch.  2016.  Ecological Parasitology: Reflections on 50 Years of Research in Aquatic Ecosystems.  Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, U.K.

J Janovy, Jr. and GW Esch (eds).  2016.  A Century of Parasitology: Discoveries, Ideas and Lessons Learned by Scientists Who Published in The Journal of Parasitology, 1914-2014.  Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, U.K.

MR Zimmermann, KE Luth, and GW Esch.  2016.  Microhabitat differences in the benthic substrata affect parasitism in a pulmonate snail host, Helisoma anceps.  Journal of Parasitology 102: 306-311.

GW Esch.  2016.  Our Nobel Laureate, Dr. William C. Campbell. Journal of Parasitology 102: 1-4.

JJ Hu, S Huang, MY Chen, T Wen, G Esch, Q Liu, and TT Liu.  2016.  Sarcocystis tuagulusu n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) from Williamsoon’s mouse deer  (Tuagulus williamsoni) (Artiodactyla: Tragulidae). Parasitology Research 115: 1325-1330.

CT Russell, T Casson, C Sump, K Luth, M Zimmermann, N Negovetich, and G Esch.   2015.  (Critical Comment.)  The catastrophic collapse of the component trematode community in Charlie’s Pond (North Carolina). Journal of Parasitology 101: 116-120.

MR Zimmermann, KE Luth, and GW Esch.  2015.  Auto-infection by Echinostoma spp. in nature.  Parasitology Research 60: 410-416.

JJ Hu, TT Liu, GW Esch, and TQ Chen.  2015.  Sarcocystis clethrionomyelaphis Matuschka, 1986 (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) infecting the oriental vole Eothenomys miletus (Cricetidae: Microtinae) and its phylogenetic relationship with other species of Sarcocystis.  Systematic Parasitology 91: 273-279.

MR Zimmermann, KE Luth, and GW Esch.  2015.  Microhabitat differences in aquatic habitats affect parasite transmission in a pulmonate snail host, Helisoma anceps.  Helminthologia 51: 301-308.

GW Esch, SS Desser, and BB Nickol.  2014.  A history of the Journal of Parasitology.  Journal of Parasitology 100: 1-10.

MR Zimmermann, KE Luth, and GW Esch.  2014.  Differences in snail ecology lead to infection pattern variation of Echinostoma species larval stages.  Acta Parasitologica 59: 502-509.

JJ Hu, Q Liu, YF Yang, GW Esch, YM Guo, and F Cai .  2014.  Sarcocystis miletus n.sp. (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) from the large oriental vole (Eothenomys miletus) from Anning, China.  Systematic Parasitology 89: 73-81.

MR Zimmermann, KE Luth, and GW Esch.  2014.  Microhabitat differences surrounding a pond effects the distribution of trematode parasites among a pulmonate snail community.  Helminothologia 51: 301-308.

YF Yang, WW Zuo, JJ Hu, GW Esch, and YZ Zuo.  2013.  Hemophagocytic syndrome as an uncommon presentation of disseminated toxoplasmosis in an immunoincompetent adult from Chinese Kunming.  American Journal of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 88: 1209-1211.

M Yu, JJ Hu., YF Yang, YM Guo, Y Yang, GW Esch, and QT Fu.  2013.  First isolation of Hammondia heydorni from dogs in China.  Veterinary Parasitology 197: 43-49.

MR Zimmermann, KE Luth, and GW Esch.  2013.  Shedding pattern of Daubaylia potomaca (Nematoda: Rhabdita). Journal of Parasitology 99: 1242-1248.

GW Esch, KE Luth, and MR Zimmermann. 2013. The ecology of animal parasites: A review. In Encyclopedia of Food Safety, Y. Motarjemi and L. Gorris (eds.). Elsevier Press, Oxford, U.K. (In press).

MR Zimmermann, KE Luth, LE Camp, and GW Esch. 2011. Population and infection dynamics of Daubaylia potomaca (Nematoda: Rhabditida) in Helisoma anceps.  Journal of Parasitology 97:430-434.

MR Zimmermann, MR, KE Luth, and GW Esch. 2011. The unusual life cycle of Daubaylia potomaca (Nematoda: Rhabditida). Journal of Parasitology 97:384-388.

MR Zimmermann, KE Luth, and GW Esch. 2011. Complex interactions among a nematode parasite (Daubaylia potomaca), a communsalistic annelid (Chaetogaster limnaei limnaei), and trematodes in a snail host, Helisoma anceps. Journal of Parasitology 97:788-792.

GW Esch. 2007. Parasites and Infectious Disease: Discovery by Serendipity, and Otherwise. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K. (2007). ISBN-10: 0521858828; ISBN-13: 978-0521858823

NJ Negovetich, KJ Fellis, GW Esch, IG Horak, and J Boomker. 2006. An examination of the infra- and component nematode community from impala (Aepyceros melampus) in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Journal of Parasitology 92:1180-1190.

KJ Fellis and GW Esch. 2005. Autogenic-allogenic status affects interpond community similarity and species-area relationship of macroparasites in bluegill sunfish, Lepomis macrochirus. Journal of Parasitology 91:764-767.

KJ Fellis and GW Esch. 2005. Variation in life cycle affects the distribution and decay of similarity among bluegill sunfish parasite communities. Journal of Parasitology 92:1485-1488.