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UDaily: UD doctoral student conducts research on tick-borne diseases

UDaily: UD doctoral student conducts research on tick-borne diseases

Delaware has one of the nation’s highest rates of Lyme disease per capita and the University of Delaware’s Solny Adalsteinsson is conducting a study that seeks to identify important ecological factors that contribute to the large number of infections.

Adalsteinsson, a doctoral student in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, is conducting her research as part of the Forest Fragments in Managed Ecosystems (FRAME) study. 

Looking at a group of forest fragments around New Castle County, Adalsteinsson is sampling ticks, mice and birds to determine factors in the forest fragments that influence tick-borne disease transmission and human disease risk.

Adalsteinsson said that ticks have three life stages beyond the egg: larvae, nymphs and adults. They only feed once during each life stage so the ecological processes that influence which host they feed upon ultimately impact how many ticks are infected.

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