Third year PhD student
Research title: Managing landscapes for conservation and human health: the role of deer and nonnative hedgehogs in tick-borne disease emergence in the Western Isles
The role of deer, livestock and non-native hosts in tick-borne disease emergence in the Western Isles. In the past decade it was reported that the Uist islands (North Uist and South Uist – two islands forming part of the Outer Hebrides) have high levels of tick numbers and cases of Lyme disease. The different islands offer naturally varying reservoir and reproductive host communities, facilitating hypothesis testing of how host communities affect tick populations and pathogen transmission.
1) To determine how the spatial distribution and abundance of deer and livestock relates to the density of questing ticks and Lyme disease risk.
2) To identify the Lyme bacteria reservoir species in order to discern how the introductions of certain mammals to these islands has shifted the pattern of pathogen transmission and maintenance.
Roman Biek, Caroline Millins, Lucy Gilbert, Mafalda Viana
NERC Case studentship & Nature Scot
Millins C, , MacInnes I, Yardley J et al. Emergence of Lyme Disease on Treeless Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom. Emerg Infect Dis. 2021;27(2):538-546. doi:10.3201/eid2702.203862
Goodenough, Anne E , Webb, Julia C and Yardley, Jonathan (2019) Environmentally-realistic concentrations of anthelmintic drugs affect survival and motility in the cosmopolitan earthworm Lumbricus terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758). Applied Soil Ecology, 137. pp. 87-95. doi:10.1016/j.apsoil.2019.02.001
Lyme and tick-borne disease research in the UK: addressing the scientific uncertainties: Liverpool 2019