student profile: Miss Casey Taylor


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Thesis work

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

Supervisors: Peter BANKS , Dieter HOCHULI

Thesis abstract:

The project aims to conduct a widespread study of wildlife hosts of the Australian paralysis tick (I. holocyclus) in Northern Sydney, where residents and companions animals frequently encounter ticks. Tick bites can result in two dangerous allergic reactions, tick anaphylaxis and mammalian meat allergy. Both allergic reactions are on the rise in the Northern Sydney region, presenting important public health concerns. The research methods will reveal the tick-host ecology at the urban interface, including hot spots of tick occurrence, important landscape features, and whether there is an urbanised tick population or whether wildlife hosts are moving ticks throughout the urban environment. This knowledge of tick dynamics in the urban environment will allow land managers and council representatives to develop effective tick management strategies to reduce the rate at which humans are coming in contact with ticks in their backyards and subsequent disease risk.

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