student profile: Miss Casey Taylor


Thesis work

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

Supervisors: Dieter HOCHULI , Peter BANKS

Thesis abstract:

�p�In the Northern Beaches of Sydney, tick-induced allergies are commonly associated with bites of the Australian paralysis tick Ixodes holocyclus. The paralysis tick has been found on a wide range of native and introduced vertebrates including bandicoots, possums, macropods, rodents, companion animals and livestock. 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 determine the role of key hosts in the tick-life cycle, the microhabitat and broader landscape traits influencing tick occurrence, and how these factors interact to influence human-tick encounters in the Northern Beaches. Given the complexity of tick parasitism, it is crucial to more deeply understand interactions between ticks and hosts in urban areas of the Northern Beaches rather than extrapolate the limited findings of tick-host studies in other geographic regions of the East Coast. Without improving our knowledge of tick dynamics, we cannot answer questions about how to effectively manage tick related health risks on a landscape scale.�/p�

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