Bilde av Selbach, Christian
Bilde av Selbach, Christian
Institutt for arktisk og marin biologi +4777644109 Her finner du meg

Christian Selbach

Associate Professor


Ecological Parasitology

What roles do parasites play in ecosystems? How can they influence their hosts? How will climate change affect the transmission and disease dynamics of parasites in aquatic environments? Can animals be afraid of their parasites? These are some of the questions that I address in my work as an ecological parasitologist.

  • Rachel Paterson, Robert Poulin, Christian Selbach :
    Global analysis of seasonal changes in trematode infection levels reveals weak and variable link to temperature
    Oecologia 2023 ARKIV / DOI
  • Bernd Sures, Milen Nachev, Jessica Schwelm, Daniel Grabner, Christian Selbach :
    Environmental parasitology: stressor effects on aquatic parasites
    Trends in Parasitology 2023 ARKIV / DOI

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    Publikasjoner utenom Cristin


    Mouritsen, K.N., Dalsgaard, N.P., Flensburg, S.B., Madsen, J.C. Selbach, C. (2022). Fear of parasitism affects the functional role of ecosystem engineers. OIKOS, e08965.

    Selbach, C., Marchant, L., Mouritsen, K.N. (2022). Mussel memory: can bivalves learn to fear parasites. Royal Society Open Science, 9211774211774.

    Selbach, C., Mouritsen, K.N., Poulin, R., Sures, B., Smit, N.J. (2021). Bridging the gap: aquatic parasites in the One Health concept. Trends in Parasitology, 38, 109-111.

    Schwelm, J.*, Selbach, C.*, Kremers, J., Sures, B. (2021). Rare inventory of trematode diversity in a protected natural reserve. Scientific Reports, 1, 22066 (2021). *shared first authors

    Selbach, C., Vanhove, M.P.M., Mouritsen, K.N. (2021). The evolutionary ecology of SARS‐CoV‐2: a missing perspective in the One Health approach. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases,

    Selbach, C., Mouritsen K.N. (2020). Mussel shutdown: does the fear of parasites regulate the functioning of filter feeders in coastal ecosystems? Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 8, 569319.

    Selbach, C., Poulin, R. (2020). Some like it hotter: trematode transmission under changing temperature conditions. Oecologia, 194, 745-755.

    Selbach, C., Barsøe, M., Vogensen, T.K., Samsing A.B., Mouritsen K.N. (2020). Temperature-parasite interaction: do trematode infections protect against heat stress? International Journal for Parasitology, 50, 1189-1194.

    Selbach, C., Soldánová, M., Feld, C.K., Kostadinova, A., Sures, B. (2020). Hidden parasite diversity in a European freshwater system. Scientific Reports, 10, 2694.

    Schwelm J., Kudlai, O., Smit, N.J., Selbach, C., Sures, B. (2020). High parasite diversity in a neglected host: larval trematodes of Bithynia tentaculata in Central Europe. Journal of Helminthology, 94, e120.

    Selbach, C., Jorge, F., Dowle, E., Bennett, J., Chai, X., Doherty, J.-F., Eriksson, A., Filion, A., Hay, E., Herbison, R., Lindner, J., Park, E., Presswell, B., Ruehle, B., Sobrinho, P.M., Wainwright, E., Poulin, R. (2019). Parasitological research in the molecular age. Parasitology, 146, 1361-1370.

    Selbach, C., Rosenkranz, M., Poulin, R. (2019). Cercarial behavior determines risk of predation. Journal of Parasitology. 105, 330-333.

    Vielma, S., Lagrue, C. Poulin, R., Selbach, C. (2019). Non-host organisms impact transmission at two different life stages in a marine parasite. Parasitology Research, 118, 111-117.

    Goellner, S., Selbach, C., Friesen, O.C. (2019). Do behavioural defence mechanisms explain different levels of trematode infections in congeneric hosts? Journal of Helminthology, 3, 379-382.

    Rosenkranz, M., Poulin, R., Selbach, C. (2018). Behavioural impacts of three trematode species on the snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum: species-specific effects or generalised response? Ethology, 124, 790-795.

    Rosenkranz, M., Lagrue, C., Poulin, R., Selbach, C. (2018). Small snails, high productivity? Larval output of parasites from an abundant host. Freshwater Biology, 63, 1602-1609.

    Selbach, C., Poulin, R. (2018). Parasites in space and time: a novel method to assess and illustrate host-searching behaviour of trematode cercariae. Parasitology, 145, 1469-1474.

    McPherson, O.G., Friesen, O.C., Selbach, C., Poulin, R. (2018). Prior infections or immune priming: what determines the risk of trematode infections in amphipod hosts? Parasitology Research, 117, 1915-1923.

    Schwelm J., Soldánová, M., Vyhlídalová, T., Sures, B., Selbach, C. (2018). Small but diverse: larval trematode communities in the small freshwater planorbids Gyraulus albus and Segmentina nitida (Gastropoda: Pulmonata). Parasitology Research, 117, 241-255.

    Selbach, C., Seddon, P.J., Poulin, R. (2018). Parasites lost: neglecting a crucial element in de-extinction. Trends in Parasitology, 34, 9-11.

    Sures, B., Nachev, M., Keppel, M., Grabner, D., Selbach, C. (2017). Parasites as drivers of key processes in aquatic ecosystems: facts and needs. Experimental Parasitology, 180, 141-147.

    Sures, B., Nachev, M., Selbach, C., Marcogliese, D.J. (2017). Parasite responses to human impact: What we know and where we go in ‘Environmental Parasitology’. Parasites & Vectors, 10, 65.

    Soldánová, M.*, Selbach, C.*, Sures, B. (2016). The early worm catches the bird? Productivity and patterns of Trichobilharzia szidati cercarial emission from Lymnaea stagnalis. PLoS One 11, e0149678. *shared first authors

    Selbach, C., Soldánová, M., Sures, B. (2016). Estimating the risk of swimmer’s itch in surface waters – a case study from Lake Baldeney, River Ruhr. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 219, 693-699.

    Selbach, C., Soldánová, M., Georgieva, S., Kostadinova, A., Sures, B. (2015). Integrative taxonomic approach to the cryptic diversity of Diplostomum spp. in lymnaeid snails from Europe with a focus on the ‘Diplostomum mergi’ species complex. Parasites & Vectors, 8, 300.

    Selbach, C.*, Soldánová, M.*, Georgieva, S., Kostadinova, A., Kalbe, M., Sures, B. (2014). Morphological and molecular data for larval stages of four species of Petasiger Dietz, 1909 (Digenea: Echinostomatidae) with an updated key to the known cercariae from the Palaearctic. Systematic Parasitology, 89, 153-66. *shared first authors

    Georgieva, S.*, Selbach, C.*, Faltýnková, A., Soldánová, M., Sures, B., Skírnisson, K., Kostadinova, A. (2013). New cryptic species of the ‘revolutum’ group of Echinostoma (Digenea: Echinostomatidae) revealed by molecular and morphological data. Parasites & Vectors, 6, 64. *shared first authors

    Soldánová, M., Selbach, C., Kalbe, M., Kostadinova, A., Sures, B. (2013). Swimmer’s itch: etiology, impact, and risk factors in Europe. Trends in Parasitology, 29, 65-74.

    Soldánová, M.*, Selbach, C.*, Sures, B., Kostadinova, A., Perez-Del-Olmo, A. (2010). Larval trematode communities in Radix auricularia and Lymnaea stagnalis in a reservoir system of the Ruhr River. Parasites & Vectors, 3, 56. *shared first authors




    Book Contributions

    Selbach, C., Sures, B. (2016). Swimmer’s itch. In: Encyclopedia of Parasitology, Mehlhorn, H. (ed.), Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2587-2593.


    My work focuses on trematodes that parasitize a wide range of vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. I study the role of these ecologically important parasites in marine and freshwater habitats to better understand their contribution to the systems’ biodiversity, energetics and food webs, their impact on host behaviour, and their relevance as human and wildlife pathogens in changing environments.


    BIO-1008 Evolution

    BIO-3505 Ecological Interactions

    BIO-3519 Parasitology & Epidemiology

    Medlem i forskningsgruppe


    Professional Experience

    • Since 8/2022                              Associate Professor in Ecological Parasitology at UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
    • 12/2021 – 7/2022                      Research fellow at the Centre for Water and Environmental Research, University of Duisburg Essen, Germany.
    • 6/2021– 11/2021                       Postdoctoral researcher at Aarhus University, Denmark.
    • 6/2019 – 5/2021                        Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at Aarhus University, Denmark. Project: Parasitism and climate change: A tipping point for blue mussel populations? Funded by the European Commission
    • 4/2019 – 5/2019                        Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Return Fellowship. Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)
    • 2/2017 – 2/2019                        Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Project: Hazardous host-finding: Comparative study of transmission abilities and predator evasion in parasites. Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)
    • 3/2016 – 1/2017                        Postdoctoral researcher at the North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa. Project: Implications of invasive species for host-parasite dynamics in floodplain systems. Funded by a North-West University postdoctoral fellowship.


    • 2/2011 – 12/2015                      PhD dissertation at the University of Duisburg – Essen, Aquatic Ecology. Title: Biology and ecology of trematodes parasitizing aquatic snails in the Ruhr reservoir system in Germany
    • 2010 – 2015                               Annual research visits to the Institute of Parasitology in České Budějovice, Czech Republic for training in molecular and morphological taxonomic approaches to identify problematic parasite taxa
    • 11/2010                                      Staatsexamen (State Examination) English & Biology for a teaching degree at the University of Duisburg – Essen.
    • 2008 – 2009                               Individual Paper Credit (MSc) at the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand (Applied Linguistic & Biology).
    • 4/2005 – 11/2010                      Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen (English & Biology for a teaching degree).