Undergraduate Dissertation on Ticks accepted by publication

Bethany Greenfield's undergraduate dissertation “Environmental parameters affecting tick (Ixodes ricinus) distribution during the summer season in Richmond Park, London” was recently accepted for publication

BETH GREENFIELD 

Bethany Greenfield’s undergraduate dissertation was recently accepted for publication in Bioscience Horizons (http://biohorizons.oxfordjournals.org/)

Ixodes ricinus, more commonly known as the sheep tick, is arguably one of the most important vectors of disease present today. As a consequence of taking blood meals from mammalian hosts, it can transmit diseases from wild animals to humans. Beth conducted a tick survey along the Tamsin trail, a major walking path in Richmond Park in 2009 to determine the environmental parameters influencing the presence of ticks throughout the park. Through doing this study it was ascertained that the presence of ticks in Richmond Park could be predicted based upon the soil moisture, light levels and humidity. It is thought that improving our understanding of  how these factors influence the presence of ticks will facilitate methods of tick control and consequently help educate the public where ‘hotspots’ for these parasites are likely to be within the park.  The article, entitled " Environmental parameters affecting ticks " is available here to download.

Bethany is now doing a PhD on the monitoring and control of arthropod vectors of disease in sylvatic habitats, under the supervision of Professor Tariq Butt, furthering her research in ticks as well as other important human and animal parastites.