This multi-year research program aims to understand the ecological drivers for the geographic variation in Lyme disease risk in eastern North America. More information is available at http://lyme-gradient.tennessee.edu
Nymphal life-stage of the exotic, invasive longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) on the left, compared to a nymphal lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum) on the right. Similar on first glance, but on second glance their mouthparts are distinctively different! These guys were collected in June 2018 from vegetation in southwestern Virginia.
University of Tennessee MS student Janetta Kelly has joined the team, and will be comparing levels of Borrelia burgdorferi infection in blacklegged ticks along the eastern vs western foothills of the southern Appalachians.
Our first field trip to Manchester KY produced blacklegged ticks on all the transects we dragged.