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The Project

The "Best practices for urban planning in the context of climate change and emerging tick-borne diseases" (UPTick) project bridges the domains of entomology, ecology, geography, public health, and urban planning to address the emerging challenge of tick-borne diseases in Canadian cities. Our primary aim is to assess the impact of urban change on tick populations and tick-borne disease transmission.

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Monitoring at-risk communities

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Landscape characteristics

We will develop maps that integrate surface temperature, land cover, vegetation metrics, and neighbourhood characteristics to evaluate factors related to Lyme disease environmental risk. We will be able to monitor how the changing landscape along a woodland-residential gradient impacts Lyme disease transmission and risk in peri-urban settings.

Tick surveillance

We will perform active surveillance of the chosen study sites using a 'drag sampling' method - dragging a one-metre square of white flannel over the ground and stopping frequently to remove ticks attached to the flannel. Ticks acquired with this method will be transported to the lab where we will test for infection with pathogens that can infect humans.

Wildlife Host Sampling

We will use live traps to collect samples from small mammals and estimate the abundance of wildlife hosts for ticks. The samples we collect will allow us to estimate the rates of infection with tick-borne pathogens present in the natural environment.

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Home: Meet the Team

Dr. Manisha Kulkarni

Associate Professor, University of Ottawa
Director, INSIGHT Lab

As a medical entomologist and public health scientist, I'm interested in finding solutions to improve disease prevention and control. My main research focus is on vector-borne diseases in tropical and temperate regions of the world.

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