Matthew G. Bolek, Associate Professor

Parasite Ecology, Evolutionary Parasitology, Aquatic Parasitology

Ph.D., 2006, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Phone: 405 744-9675


Lab website


Specific Interests

My research interests are in the area of parasite ecology, evolution of parasite life cycles, and parasite taxonomy. I utilize parasites of amphibians and aquatic invertebrates in order to investigate parasite ecology and evolution because lower vertebrates and invertebrates have invaded a multitude of micro-habitats and exhibit a striking diversity of life histories, reproductive strategies, body sizes, foraging modes, and trophic relations. They serve as both intermediate and definitive hosts and their parasite fauna is diverse. Therefore, these hosts provide a good model for studying biotic and abiotic ecological factors that determine parasite species’ distribution, abundance, and movements through ecosystems. This system enables our laboratory to investigate questions of how host and parasite life histories co-evolve, and affect parasite community structure, parasite biogeography, and distribution in time and space.


Selected Publications

  • Bolek, M. G., S. D. Snyder, and J. Janovy Jr. 2009. Alternative life cycle strategies and colonization of young of the year leopard frogs, Woodhouse’s toads, and bullfrogs by Gorgoderina attenuata in Nebraska. Journal of Parasitology Accepted.
  • Bolek, M. G., S. D. Snyder, and J. Janovy Jr. 2009. Redescription of the frog bladder fluke Gorgoderina attenuata from the northern leopard frog, Rana pipiens. Journal of Parasitology Accepted.
  • Bolek, M. G., and J. Janovy Jr. 2008. Alternative life cycle strategies of Megalodiscus temperatus in tadpoles and metamorphosed anurans. Parasite Journal De La Societe Française De Parasitologie 15(3): 396-401.
  • Duszynski, D.W., M. G. Bolek, and S. J. Upton. 2007. Coccidia (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) of amphibians of the world. Zootaxa 1667: 1-77.
  • Janovy J. Jr., J. Detwiler, S. Schwank, M. G. Bolek, A. Knipes, and G. Langford. 2007. New taxa and amended descriptions of gregarines from flour beetles (Tribolium spp. and Palorus subdepressus: Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae). Journal of Parasitology 93(5): 1,155-1,170.
  • Bolek, M. G. and J. Janovy Jr. 2007. Evolutionary avenues for and constraints on the transmission of frog lung flukes (Haematoloechus spp.) in dragonfly second intermediate hosts. Journal of Parasitology 93(3): 593-607.
  • Bolek, M. G. and J. Janovy Jr. 2007. Small frogs get their worms first: The role of non-odonate arthropods in the recruitment of Haematoloechus coloradensis and Haematoloechus complexus in newly metamorphosed northern leopard frogs, Rana pipiens, and Woodhouse’s toads, Bufo woodhousii. Journal of Parasitology 93(2): 300-312.
  • Jirků, M., M. G. Bolek, C. M. Whipps, J. Janovy Jr., M. Kent, and D. Modrý. 2006. A new species of Myxidium (Myxosporea) in western chorus frogs, Pseudacris triseriata triseriata, and Blanchard’s cricket frogs, Acris crepitans blanchardi, from eastern Nebraska: morphology phylogeny, and critical comments on amphibian Myxidium taxonomy. Journal of Parasitology 92(3): 611-619.
  • Bolek, M. G. and J. Janovy Jr. 2004. Observations on myiasis by the calliphorids, Bufolucilia silvarum and Bufolucilia elongata, in wood frogs, Rana sylvatica, from southeastern Wisconsin. Journal of Parasitology 90(5): 1,169-1,171.
  • Bolek, M. G. and J. R. Coggins. 2003. Helminth community structure of sympatric eastern American toad, Bufo americanus americanus, northern leopard frog, Rana pipiens, and blue-spotted salamander, Ambystoma laterale, from southeastern Wisconsin. Journal of Parasitology 89(4): 673-680.
  • Bolek, M. G., J. Janovy Jr. and A. R. Irizarry-Rovira. 2003. Observations on the life history and descriptions of coccidia (Apicomplexa) from the western chorus frog, Pseudacris triseriata triseriata, from eastern Nebraska. Journal of Parasitology 89(3): 522-528.
  • Bolek, M. G. and J. R. Coggins. 2002. Seasonal occurrence, morphology, and observations on the life history of Gordius difficilis (Nematomorpha: Gordioidea) from southeastern Wisconsin, U.S.A. Journal of Parasitology 88(2): 287-294.