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Nancy Foster Glasmeier Research and Writing Award

2014-15

Wacker Award Winner

The Department of Environmental Studies and Planning is pleased to announce the 2014-15 recipient of the Nancy Foster Glasmeier Research and Writing Award is Heather Wacker. Heather's research focuses on helping to determine what habitat characteristics best predict tick abundance and disease prevalence.  Her research is to assess the prevalence of ticks and relate them to population sizes of local wildlife populations.  She hypothesizes that this data will be relevant in determining tick abundance as she believes that the higher the biodiversity of an area, the lower the tick count will be.  She predicts that biodiversity as well as predator prey interactions will play a role in the abundance of ticks.  She is particularly interested in mountain lion abundance and their occurrences and how they might influence the abundance of reservoir hosts for the pathogens causing Lyme disease.  She is curious if mammalian community composition at wildlife camera stations correlate with tick abundance and prevalence of pathogens causing tick borne illness.