The University of Maine at Farmington is set to present a talk on the Maine Forest Tick Survey by guest lecturer Dr. Allison Gardner at 11:45 a.m. Monday, March 27, in Thomas Auditorium in UMF Preble Hall on High Street.

The survey is a cross-disciplinary research project with the long-term goal of identifying forest management practices that inhibit tick-borne disease transmission, are compatible with landowners’ economic interests while conserving biodiversity and enhancing other ecosystem services provided by healthy forests, according to a news release from April Mulherin, UMF associate director for media relations.

Because of a combination of climate change and an expanding human-wildlife interface accompanying land development, Maine has seen a five-fold increase in Lyme disease incidence over the past decade. Active forest management may alter individual risk of exposure to tick-borne disease and the spread and persistence of tick-borne disease in the forest landscape via diverse mechanistic pathways.

In southern Maine, more than 80% of forested land is managed and used for hunting, timber extraction, and outdoor recreation by non-industrial family forest landowners, creating both an urgent public health need and a unique socio-ecological context in which to investigate the effects of forest management on disease transmission.

Gardner is an associate professor of medical entomology in the School of Biology and Ecology at the University of Maine. Her scientific research seeks to investigate the basic biology of arthropod disease vectors, analyze the interacting social and ecological conditions that enhance vector-borne disease transmission, and explain and predict the spread of emerging tick-borne and mosquito-borne diseases.

This event is sponsored by the UMF Division of Natural Sciences.

For more information, email Donelle Schwalm, UMF assistant professor of environmental biology, at



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