Scott L. Gardner
Scott Gardner

Ph.D. University of New Mexico, 1989
Contact Information
W529 Nebraska Hall


Research Interests

My program of NSF funded research is focused on the evolutionary relationships among neotropical rodents and marsupials and their parasite faunas. I investigate questions of mammalian and faunal biodiversity by generating and combining data on the phylogenetic, biogeographic, and ecological relationships of hosts and parasites. I am committed to integrating museum-oriented field research and modern systematic analysis of parasites and their hosts. These studies will provide assessments of extent and scope of coevolution and biodiveristy of mammals and their parasites of various biotic regions. For instance, recent results of my research show that a knowledge of both the host and parasite faunas of an area can provide much more information regarding regional biodiversity than if only the hosts were considered in this context.

To understand the phylogenetic relationships among mammals and their parasites, one must know as much of the biological characteristics of the host as of their parasites. For instance, I have generated phylogenetic hypotheses for rodents using morphological analysis and at the same time estimating phylogenetic relationships among the parasites using techniques appropriate at different levels of resolution such as allozyme analysis and morphology. I use the methods of phylogenetic systematics to test hypotheses of host-parasite coevolution and biogeography.

I also have interests in the ecology of symbiotic associations of mammalian groups from North America and have for the past several years been engaged in studies of the helminth parasites of geomyoid rodents and their relatives. Using these data I have begun to address questions concerning taxonomic and ecologic diversity of parasites in groups of rodents with both subterranean and terrestrial habits in the Neotropical vs. the Nearctic regions. Comparisons such as these hold great promise for increasing our general understanding of ecological diversity in tropical vs. temperate ecosystems. Although my current research program is focused on the helminth parasites of mammals, my investigations and collections are broad in scope and taxonomic coverage. I have published on topics as diverse as coccidia of stingrays (Urolophus), and coccidia, nematodes, and cestodes from rodents.

I plan to continue studies of the phylogeny, evolution, diversity, and genetic variation of parasites and their hosts using as tools, multivariate statistics,DNA sequencing, and other molecular techniques. An active and dynamic multifaceted approach to investigations of phylogeny and evolution will result in more lucid definitions of the processes responsible for the patterns that we see in nature. Being active in research on more than one class of organisms opens up funding opportunities that would not otherwise be available to researchers.


  • Jimenez-Ruiz, F. A., S. L. Gardner, F. A. Cervantes and C. Lorenzo (2004). "A new species of Pelecitus (Filarioidea : Onchocercidae) from the endangered tehuantepec jackrabbit Lepus Flavigularis." Journal of Parasitology 90(4): 803-807.
  • Casiraghi, M., O. Bain, R. Guerrero, C. Martin, C. Pocacqua, S. L. Gardner, A. Franceschi and C. Bandi (2004). "Mapping the presence of Wolbachia pipientis on the phylogeny of filarial nematodes: evidence for symbiont loss during evolution." International Journal for Parasitology 34(2): 191-203.
  • Campbell, M. L., S. L. Gardner and G. T. Navone (2003). "A new species of Mathevotaenia (Cestoda : Anoplocephalidae) and other tapeworms from marsupials in Argentina." Journal of Parasitology 89(6): 1181-1185.
  • Jimenez-Ruiz, F. A. and S. L. Gardner (2003). "Aspidoderid nematodes from Bolivian armadillos, with the description of a new species of Lauroia (Heterakoidea : Aspidoderidae)." Journal of Parasitology 89(5): 978-983.
  • Jimenez-Ruiz, F. A. and S. L. Gardner (2003). "The nematode fauna of long-nosed mice Oxymycterus spp. from the Bolivian Yungas." Journal of Parasitology 89(2): 299-308.
  • Garcia-Varela, M., M. P. Cummings, G. P. P. de Leon, S. L. Gardner and J. P. Laclette (2002). "Phylogenetic analysis based on 18S ribosomal RNA gene sequences supports the existence of class polyacanthocephala (acanthocephala)." Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 23(2): 288-292.
  • Gardner, S. L. and G. P. P. de Leon (2002). "Yungasicola travassosi gen. n., sp n. (Digenea : Dicrocoeliidae : Eurytrematinae) from two species of grass mice of the genus Akodon Meyen (Rodentia : Muridae) from the Yungas of Bolivia." Comparative Parasitology 69(1): 51-57.
  • Guerrero, R., C. Martin, S. L. Gardner and O. Bain (2002). "New and known species of Litomosoides (Nematoda : Filarioidea): Important adult and larval characters and taxonomic changes." Comparative Parasitology 69(2): 177-195.
  • Brant, S. V. and S. L. Gardner (2000). "Phylogeny of species of the genus Litomosoides (Nematatoda : Onchocercidae): Evidence of rampant host switching." Journal of Parasitology 86(3): 545-554.
  • Hugot, J. P. and S. L. Gardner (2000). "Helminthoxys abrocomae n. sp (Nematoda : Oxyurida) from Abrocoma cinerea in Bolivia." Systematic Parasitology 47(3): 223-230.