Lab of disease ecology and evolutionary parasitology

Thanks for visiting my lab website. I joined the University of Pittsburgh as an assistant professor in July 2018.. so this is still very much a work in progress! Please forgive any missing content or wonky pictures – if anything’s unclear and you want to know more, just get in touch!

*** We’re hiring! We’re looking for grad students, a technician and a post doc! Check out the ‘Join the Lab’ page for more details ***

We are interested in the factors that influence infectious disease transmission in natural populations. For directly transmitted parasites, transmission between conspecific hosts is largely determined by host social behaviour. Our research focusses on how biotic and abiotic conditions modify this social behaviour. Work in the lab mostly uses the guppy and its gyrodactylid parasites to investigate how changes in these ecological conditions, and hence transmission, may drive evolutionary change in both the host and parasite.

On the ‘Research’ pages, you’ll find symdescriptions of the work (completed, in progress, and planned), and how it all fits together. If you’re interested in joining the lab, or if you have any comments please contact me – I’m excited to hear what you think.

P1070189You can also find me on ResearchGate, Google Scholar and Twitter (@jessfstep). Download my CV– I last updated it in April 2017 – or contact me at