• fisheries


Dr Haseeb Randhawa


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Fisheries Scientist (Biology)

Miscellaneous Information

Miscellaneous Information:


I was born and raised in Montreal, Canada and completed my BSc in Zoology at McGill University. During my degree, I became fascinated with parasites and decided to pursue a MSc in Parasitology at the Institute of Parasitology (McGill University) describing the parasite communities of four skate species in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. I went on to complete a PhD at the University of New Brunswick (Canada) where I studied the determinants of host specificity in skate parasites in the northern Atlantic Ocean. During the latter stages of my studies, I had the opportunity to join a research cruise in the Falkland Islands to work on the parasite communities of skates off the Falkland Shelf. I completed four years of postdoctoral work at the University of Otago in New Zealand investigating the drivers of parasite diversity and host specificity in sharks and skates. Prior to taking on my current role as fisheries scientist for the Falkland Islands Government, I worked as a Senior Teaching Fellow for the Ecology Degree Programme at the University of Otago for nearly five years. Over the past few years, I have been collaborating with members of the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department on various projects, primarily on using otolith microchemistry to differentiate between different commercial fish stocks; an important aspect in recruiting me to the Department. I now reside in Stanley with my partner and three lovely children.

Reasearch interests

My overarching goal is to integrate ecological and evolutionary studies towards a better understanding of marine biodiversity, marine ecosystem processes (e.g. nutrient cycling) and function, and to achieve greater synergy between marine ecology and fisheries science/management. My research programme focuses in fisheries ecology using otolith microchemistry, in conjunction with population genetics and parasite communities, to discriminate between fish populations (stocks) of commercial importance. Additionally, I use parasites as a proxy to learn more about host ecology, in this instance, the ecology of the different commercial fish species involved in their life cycles, and use this information to inform fisheries research and management. I apply quantitative, molecular, biochemical/chemical, phylogenetic contrasts and congruence methods, experimental, and field approaches to elucidate the evolutionary processes shaping parasite specialisation, the trophic interactions leading to successful parasite transmission, and the impacts of parasites on the flow of nutrients/energy in marine ecosystems. Specific projects currently underway include:
• Combine otolith microchemistry, population genetics, and parasites to discriminate between fish stocks of commercial importance and better understand their ecology/biology (toothfish, rock cod, kingclip).
• Determine the trophic structure of different fish stocks/populations on the Falkland Shelf (i.e. toothfish, kingclip) using stable isotopes and parasites communities.
• Investigate the evolution of fish communities in the Southern Ocean using molecular markers.
• Retrace the ecological history of different fish stocks (i.e. southern blue whiting, toothfish) off the Falkland Shelf using otolith microchemistry on historical samples (1980’s and 1990’s).
• Gaining insights into squid ecology using parasites and understanding the involvement of squid in parasite source-sink dynamics.


Rasmussen TK, Randhawa HS (2018) The influence of host diet on parasite diversity: a case study looking at tapeworm diversity among sharks. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 605: 1-16. - Feature article.

Bennett J, Randhawa HS (in press) Feeding ecology of New Zealand's endemic rough skate, Zearaja nasuta. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research - doi: 10.1080/00288330.2018.1541813

Beer A, Ingram T, Randhawa HS (in press) Role of ecology and phylogeny in determining tapeworm assemblages in Rajiformes (skates). Journal of Helminthology.

Benmeslem K, Randhawa HS, Tazerouti F (in press) Description of a new species of rhinebothriidean tapeworm from the skate Dipturus batis in the Mediterranean Sea. Journal of Helminthology.

Lee B, Brewin P, Brickle P, Randhawa HS (2018) Use of otolith shape to inform structure in Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) in the Southwest Atlantic. Marine & Freshwater Research. 69: 1238-1247.

Pérez-Ponce de Léon G, Anglade T, Randhawa HS (2018) A new species of Steringotrema Odhner, 1911 (Trematoda: Fellodistomidae) from the New Zealand sole Peltorhamphus novaezeelandiae Günther off Kaka Point in the Catlins, South Island, New Zealand. Systematic Parasitology. 95: 213-222.

Anglade T, Randhawa HS (2018) Gaining insights into the ecological role of the New Zealand sole (Peltorhamphus novaezeelandiae) through parasites. Journal of Helminthology. 92: 187-196.

Harland T, Wald N, Randhawa HS (2017) Student peer review: enhancing formative feedback with a rebuttal. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. 42:801-811. doi: 10.1080/02602938.2016.1194368

Lehnert K, Randhawa HS, Poulin R (2017) Metazoan parasites from odontocetes off New Zealand: new records. Parasitology Research. 116: 2861-2868.

Poulin R, Blasco-Costa I, Randhawa HS (2016) Integrating parasitology and marine ecology: seven challenges towards greater synergy. Journal of Sea Research. 113:3-10.

Brickle P, Schuchert PC, Arkhipkin A, Reid MR, Randhawa HS (2016) Otolith trace elemental analyses of South American austral hake, Merluccius australis (Hutton, 1872) indicates complex salinity structuring on their spawning grounds. PLoS One. 11(1): e0145479.

Poulin R, Besson A, Bélanger Morin M, Randhawa HS (2016) Missing links: testing the completeness of host-parasite checklists. Parasitology. 143:114-122.

Rasmussen TK, Randhawa HS (2015) Factors influencing spatial variation of a mermithid parasite in sand hoppers. Parasitology Research. 114: 895-901.

Poulin R and Randhawa HS (2015) Evolution of parasitism along convergent lines: from ecology to genomics. Parasitology. 142: S6-S15.

Randhawa HS, Poulin, R and Krkosek, M (2015) Unprecedented rate of species discovery in sharks coincides with rapid population declines: implications for biodiversity. Ecography. 38: 96-107.

Koprivnikar, J and Randhawa HS (2013) Benefits of fidelity: does host specialization impact nematode parasite life history and fecundity? Parasitology. 140: 587-597.

Presswell B, Melville, DS, Randhawa HS (2012) Tapeworm bolus expelled from New Zealand variable oystercatchers (Haematopus unicolor) during handling: first record of this phenomenon in wild birds, and a global checklist of Haematopus cestode parasites. Parasitology Research. 111: 2455-2460.

Presswell B, Poulin, R and Randhawa HS (2012) First report of a gryporhynchid tapeworm (Cestoda: Cyclophyllidea) from New Zealand and eleotrid fish, described from metacestodes and in vitro-grown worms. Journal of Helminthology. 86: 453-464.

Randhawa HS (2012) Numerical and functional responses of intestinal helminths in three rajid skates: evidence for competition between parasites? Parasitology. 139: 1784-1793.

Peoples RC, Randhawa HS and Poulin R (2012) Parasitism and its impact in an intertidal polychaete community. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK, 92: 449-455.

Koehler AV, Springer YP, Randhawa HS, Leung TLF, Keeney DB, Poulin R (2012) Genetic and phenotypic correlates of clone-level success and host specialization in a generalist parasite. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 25: 66-79.

Munoz G and Randhawa HS (2011) Monthly variation in the parasite communities of the intertidal fish Scartichthys viridis (Blenniidae) from central Chile: are there seasonal patterns? Parasitology Research, 109: 53-62.

Randhawa HS and Brickle P (2011) Larval parasite gene sequence data reveal cryptic trophic links in life cycles of porbeagle shark tapeworms. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 431: 215-222.

Randhawa HS (2011) Insights into the lifecycle of a tapeworm infecting great white sharks using a molecular approach. Journal of Parasitology, 97: 275-280.

Poulin R, Guilhaumon F, Randhawa HS, Luque JL and Mouillot D (2011). Identifying hotspots of parasite diversity from species-area relationships: host phylogeny versus host ecology. Oikos, 120: 740-747.

Randhawa HS and Poulin R (2010). Determinants of tapeworm species richness in elasmobranch fishes: untangling environmental and phylogenetic influences. Ecography, 33: 866-877.

Randhawa HS and Poulin R (2010). Evolution of interspecific variation in size of attachment structures in the large tapeworm genus Acanthobothrium (Tetraphyllidea: Onchobothriidae). Parasitology, 137: 1707-1720.

Randhawa HS and Poulin R (2009). Determinants and consequences of interspecific body size variation in tetraphyllidean tapeworms. Oecologia, 161: 759-769.

Randhawa HS and Burt MDB (2008) Determinants of the host specificity and comments on attachment-site specificity of tetraphyllidean cestodes infecting rajid skates from the Northwest Atlantic. Journal of Parasitology, 94: 436-461.

Randhawa HS, Saunders GW, Scott ME and Burt MDB (2008) Redescription of Pseudanthobothrium hanseni Baer, 1956 and description of P. purtoni n. sp. (Cestoda: Tetraphyllidea) from different pairs of rajid skates, with comments on the host specificity of the genus in the northwest Atlantic. Systematic Parasitology, 70: 41-60.

Randhawa HS, Saunders GW and Burt MDB (2007) Establishment of the onset of host specificity in four phyllobothriid tapeworm species (Cestoda: Tetraphyllidea) using a molecular approach. Parasitology, 134: 1291-1300.