Planetary Health: the Connections between Climate Change, Wildlife Ecology, and Tickborne Diseases

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Climate, Speaker Series

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Program Description

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Dr. Miller will talk about the role of habitat suitability in population dynamics of wildlife… and the ticks that feed on them. As the climate changes, habitats, wildlife, and vectors shifts their patterns as well. Dr. May will then talk about some of the diseases transmitted by ticks, and what we can expect to see in Maine in the coming years.

Dr. Meghan May is a Professor of Biomedical Sciences (Microbiology and Infectious Disease) at the University of New England. Her research focus is on pathogen evolution and emerging diseases, and involves bacteria, parasites, and viruses.  She also studies the role in the microbiome in protecting against infection, pharmaceutically-induced immune dysregulation and infection susceptibility, infection-mediated pain, and works up unusual clinical ID cases involving novel infectious agents. Dr. William Miller is an Assistant Professor of Biology (Wildlife and Disease Ecology) at Calvin University in Michigan. His research and teaching focuses on the relationships between human, wildlife, and environmental health systems, with a specific focus on vector ecology. Dr. Miller’s current research is focused on evaluating the ecology of ticks and tick-borne pathogens in a region of recent population expansion (western Michigan), with the ultimate goal of identifying specific environmental correlates to tick abundance.