Series to focus on parasites

SCOTTVILLE – The true story of small creatures that invade the body of animals and plants is a fascinating topic that will be discussed on March 15, at two separate presentations sponsored by West Shore Community College through its Humankind series.

This first of two free presentations by Dr. Judith Humphries, from Lawrence University, will be held at 11 a.m., in room 357, of WSCC’s Arts & Science Center. The 7 p.m. presentation will take place at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts, at 107 W. Harrison Street.

Humphries is an expert on one of the parasites that causes a very minor, but irritating disease called swimmer’s itch or its cousin that causes a life-threatening disease in humans. She also studies parasites that cause heartworm in dogs or its cousin that can cause elephantiasis in humans.

Humphries is an associate professor of biology at Lawrence University, Wisconsin. She obtained both her BSc in biological sciences and PhD in parasitology from The Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland. She moved to Wisconsin for a postdoctoral position at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Come and explore with us the little known world of parasites and be prepared to be awed,” said Dr. Michael McKinney, WSCC professor of biological sciences, who is one of the organizers of the Humankind series.

A three-year project presented by the college, the Humankind series looks at how people from different parts of the globe explore what it means to be human. Sub-Saharan Africa is this year’s focus. Next year will look at the Middle East, and then Cuba in 2019-2020.

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