student profile: Miss Casey Taylor


Thesis work

Thesis title: Ecological drivers of human-tick interactions in urban environments

Supervisors: Peter BANKS , Dieter HOCHULI

Thesis abstract:

Tick induced allergic reactions, including mammalian meat allergy and tick anaphylaxis, are increasingly prevalent in tick-endemic areas of Australia and the US. In the Northern Beaches of Sydney, tick-induced allergies are commonly associated with bites of the Australian paralysis tick Ixodes holocyclus. The paralysis tick is known to parasitise a wide range of vertebrates including bandicoots, possums, macropods, rodents, companion animals and livestock. However, little is known about the relative abundance of I. holocyclus on natural and introduced hosts in the urban environment and how this influences human-tick encounters. My project aims to reveal spatial patterns of tick occurrence, and the hosts and landscape features most important to the different tick life stages (larvae, nymph and adult) in urban and peri-urban areas of the Northern Beaches. My research will deepen our understanding of the nature of human-tick encounters and inform the decisions of various land managers regarding effective landscape scale solutions to reduce the rate of human-tick encounters and associated health risks.

Note: This profile is for a student at the University of Sydney. Views presented here are not necessarily those of the University.