Shelley Adamo

Professor and Graduate Coordinator

Shelley Adamo

Related Information

Research Website

Phone: (902) 494-8853
Fax: (902) 494-6585
Mailing Address: 
Dalhousie University, Life Sciences Centre, Rm 3324, 1355 Oxford Street, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Invertebrate behavioural physiology
  • Comparative psychoneuroimmunology
  • Ecoimmunology

Cross Appointments

Department of Biology


BSc (Toronto)
PhD (McGill)

Research Interests

I explore the interactions between behaviour and physiology, using invertebrate model systems.  For example, I study how and why animals change their behaviour due to infection.  In some cases the change in behaviour is produced by the host to help it overcome its infection, in some cases the pathogen manipulates the host’s behaviour for its own ends.  I also study how and why immune function is influenced by factors such as stress and reproduction.  The ability to resist disease is partly determined by behaviour.  We use a range of techniques including behavioural studies, physiological methods, biochemical assays (e.g. HPLC) and molecular techniques.

Selected Publications

  • Adamo SA (2020).  Animals have a Plan B:  How insects deal with the dual challenge of predators and pathogens.  Journal of Comparative Physiology B. 190: 381-390.
  • Adamo SA and McMillan LE (2019) Listening to your gut: Immune challenge to the gut sensitizes body wall nociception in the caterpillar Manduca sextaPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. 374: 20190278.
  • Adamo SA (2019) Turning your victim into a collaborator:  Exploitation of insect behavioural control systems by parasitic manipulators.  Current Opinion in Insect Science. 33: 25-29
  • McMillan L. E., Miller, D and Adamo SA (2018) Eating when ill is risky: Immune defense impairs food detoxification in the caterpillar Manduca sextaJournal of Experimental Biology. 221: jeb173336.
  • Adamo SA, Easy R, Kovalko I, MacDonald J, McKeen A, Swanburg T, Turnbull KF, and Reeve C. (2017) Predator stress-induced immunosuppression: trade-off, immune redistribution or immune reconfiguration? Journal of Experimental Biology. 220: 868-875. doi: 10.1242/jeb.153320


NESC/PSYO 3165--Neurothology
NESC/PSYO 2570--Introduction to Neuroscience II. Cellular Neurobiology
NESC/PSYO 3180--Psychoneuroimmunology/Ecological Immunology