Date of Submission

Spring 2023

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Felicia Keesing

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Ticks are the primary cause of vector-borne disease cases in the US, which continue to place a heavy burden on our public health and medical systems. Tick populations are continuing to spread regionally into previously uninhabited areas posing new risks for an increase in disease incidence rates. Tick surveillance and tick population control continue to be important areas of research as they can improve our understanding of the abiotic and biotic factors that impact tick populations and their ability to spread disease. In this study, I analyzed data on tick abundance from the Tick Project to investigate spatial and temporal variation in populations of nymphal ticks, as well as possible associated ecological risk factors. The control data set of the Tick Project, conducted by Prof. Keesing and colleagues, was used to visualize the variation in nymphal tick abundance within individual properties across six residential neighborhoods of Dutchess County, NY from 2017 to 2021. As part of the original study, three landscape types – forest, lawn, and shrub/garden – were flagged and sampled twice each year from 2017 through 2021 to investigate landscape-specific tick populations. The abundance of ticks varied greatly across all six neighborhoods, and a potential “cold spot” neighborhood was identified. Over time tick abundance varied but only to small degrees. Forest habitats had significantly higher levels of tick abundance and were found to be the habitat with the greatest ecological risk. This finding allows for a better understanding of the fluctuating nature of tick populations in residential areas and the importance of creating awareness around the use of protective and preventive measures in forested areas.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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