Richmond Home

Unwelcome Visitors: Southward-expanding Tick Populations and the Diseases They Bring

Tuesday, November 1
12:00 noon – 12:45 p.m.
Research & Collaborative Study Area, 1st Floor, Boatwright Library

binkerhoffDr. Jory Brinkerhoff
Assistant Professor of Biology

Virginians have a long history of interactions with ticks, but the tick-borne disease known as Lyme borreliosis has been on the rise in Virginia and a number of other states over the past decade. Mechanisms to account for this increase have yet to be identified, but the geographical and numerical distribution of the Lyme disease-transmitting tick, Ixodes scapularis, has mirrored and perhaps foreshadowed disease patterns in humans. My students and I are pursuing a variety of research methods ranging from the molecular to the landscape to track, understand, and mitigate Lyme disease expansion in Virginia and other locations.

Brinkerhoff, R.J., W.F. Gilliam, and D. Gaines. 2014. Lyme disease, Virginia, USA, 2000-2011. Emerging Infectious Diseases 20: 1661-1668