Research Description

I co-direct the Midwest Center of Excellence for Vector Borne Disease and many of our projects are related to the goals of the Center.  Check out the link below for more information about other Center activities.

  1.  Human/tick interactions.  We worked with UW Madison CHESS and collaborators to develop  The Tick App as a research and education tool.
  2. Human/tick interactions.  We are working with neighborhoods in Wisconsin to measure the risk of contact with infected deer ticks around households.  We’ll also be investigating the impacts of Public Health educational strategies on reducing the risk of Lyme disease.
  3. Management of deer ticks.  We are testing strategies to reduce the abundance of deer ticks around households, including removal of invasive plant species, tick tubes to target mice, and products that control grubs in the lawn.

We work on applied research to solve problems caused by ticks and mosquitoes.

  1. Surveillance for pathogens infecting deer ticks  and the geographical range of deer ticks in Wisconsin.  We examine ecological factors that affect the density and infection prevalence for a variety of infectious agents in deer ticks.   Tick Site 
  2. Surveillance for mosquitoes and mosquito-transmitted diseases.
  3. Invasive species.  We examine processes that affect the successful invasion of vectors, including how snow cover affects the mosquito, Aedes albopictus.

Mosquito projects:

  1.  Graduate students Kristina Lopez and Haley Johnson, both funded through the Midwest Center of Excellence for Vector Borne Disease and jointly advised by Dr. Lyric Bartholomay and Dr. Paskewitz, are working on assessments of the effectiveness of control practices used to manage mosquitoes and West Nile virus.  Haley is working in Milwaukee and Chicago to assess larval control and Kristina is working in Chicago to assess adult control.

Collaborative projects:

  1.  The use of insects as food and feed for humans and livestock.  Dr. Valerie Stull (Nelson Institute, Global Health Institute) and  Martin Ventura lead these projects to investigate the use of crickets and mealworms as nutritious sources of protein.
  2. Development of vaccines for Lyme Disease.  Dr. Jordan Mandli, working with Jorge Osorio in the School of Veterinary Medicine is assessing novel methods for vaccine production.
  3. Dr. Sean Schoville and Dahn-Young Dong are investigating the population genetics of Ixodes scapularis in the upper midwest.  Dr. Jean Tsao of Michigan State University is also a collaborator on this project.
  4. Drs. Pilar Fernandez, Bieneke Bron and other collaborators are investigating tickborne rickettsial disease prevalence in Latin America.