The evolution of parental care in leeches: costs and benefits in a clade of hermaphroditic, invertebrate ectotherms

  • Burd, Martin (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Govedich, Fredric Robert (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Lill, Alan (Chief Investigator (CI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

Parental care is a basic element of reproduction in many species. Nearly everything we know about parental care comes from study of vertebrates, especially birds and mammals. Leech is synonymous with exploitation, but many of these annelid worms are devoted parents. Because they differ dramatically from most vertebrates, leeches present an excellent, but as yet unused, opportunity to test our theories and understanding of the evoluton of parental care. We will examine the evolution of degrees of care and sibling competition in leech families, and use molecular markers to better understand the genetic structure of populations of these invertebrates.''
Effective start/end date1/01/0231/03/05


  • Australian Research Council (ARC): A$155,000.00