Thomas's paper was accepted for publication!

Thomas VanHorn, former Tyson high school TERFer and WashU undergraduate fellow research in our lab, will have his independent research project published* in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Medical Entomology. Thomas's work, mentored by Tyson staff scientist Solny Adalsteinsson, led our team into the ForestGEO plot at Tyson to collect roughly 3,000 ticks during summer 2015. The results showed that high tick abundances were found in valleys and and on north or northwest facing slopes. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, nymphal (immature) ticks were less abundant where temperature variance was high.

Why is this important? Because the Lone Star tick is a vector for several important pathogens that cause human and wildlife disease, and being able to predict where abundance is highest without having to collect complex ecological data could be very useful for land managers who want to reduce the risk of tick encounters by humans and wildlife. 

Thomas is currently a senior at WashU, and will head off to medical school next fall. What a great way to wrap up his undergraduate career and many summers at Tyson! Congrats Thomas!

*co-authors include: Thomas VanHorn, Solny Adalsteinsson, Katie Westby, Marko Spasojevic, Maranda Walton, Beth Biro, Jonathan Myers, and Kim Medley

Landscape physiognomy influences abundance of the Lone Star tick, Amblyomma americanum (Ixodida: Ixodidae), in Ozark forests

Story in Entomology Today

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Solny gives seminar at the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center

Solny presented some of her work from the Tyson prescribed fire experiment at the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center yesterday.  She did a great job creating an overall story of what we're beginning to understand about tick population dynamics, behavior, bird-tick burden, and deer usage. And kudos to the undergraduate and high school fellows that contributed to the work: Hanna Peterman, Leslie Sterling, Aaron Heisey, Lexie Beckermann, and Delilah Sayer. Great job team!

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Field season 2017 is...

...a wrap. We had a great group of fellows (undergraduate and high school) conducting research on our team this summer. Lexie, Leslie, Hanna, Aaron, and Delilah all completed independent research projects, in addition to collecting data on our broader projects. Among other things, we completed our second season of tick collections in burned and unburned forest plots and wrapped up season one of our urban-rural albopictus project. We found some interesting preliminary results on the albopictus project that we included in our NSF proposal. Stay tuned...

New post-doctoral associate

Solny Adalsteinsson has accepted the post-doc position in our lab and will be joining us in July 2016. Solny is finishing up her PhD at the University of Delaware, where she examined the cascading impacts of invasive species and forest fragmentation on interactions among hosts, vectors, and pathogens. Welcome Solny!

Seeking post-doctoral associate

The Medley Lab is searching for post-doc in disease or vector ecology. Full posting below:

postdoctoral research associate position is available in the research group of Dr. Kim Medley at Tyson Research Center, Washington University in St. Louis. The candidate will have the opportunity to develop a research program in collaboration with current members of the lab group examining the ecology of vectors of wildlife and/or human disease. In addition, the candidate will be encouraged to develop and teach a course in their area of expertise to complement current courses at Washington University and Tyson Research Center. Candidates with strong quantitative skills and/or expertise in parasitology, disease ecology, mathematical modeling, geospatial analysis, or molecular tools are preferred.
 
The successful candidate will be based at Washington University's Tyson Research Center (TRC), an 800-ha field station located 20 miles from the main campus. TRC boasts a rapidly growing research infrastructure, including a 25-ha forest-dynamics plot that is part of a global network of plots coordinated through the Smithsonian Center for Tropical Forest Science and Global Earth Observatory (CTFS-ForestGEO), a new ~4000 ft2 laboratory facility, a newly constructed research garden, and opportunities for experimental and observational studies in forest, glade, prairie, and aquatic habitats.
 
The successful candidate will join a growing and interactive community of ecologists and evolutionary biologists at Washington University, TRC, and the St. Louis Ecology, Evolution and Conservation consortium of local partner institutions (http://www.sleec.weebly.com). In addition to developing a collaborative research program, candidates should have an expressed interest in mentoring undergraduate and high school research fellows at TRC, and being an active and contributing member of a dynamic field station.
 
Funding for salary is available for one year with the possibility of extension. Review of applications will begin March 14, 2016 and will continue until the position is filled. However, candidates are encouraged to e-mail Kim Medley (kim.medley@wustl.edu) to indicate interest in the position as soon as possible. The start date is flexible, but ideally the candidate will start summer 2016. To apply, please combine into a single PDF file your CV, a one-page statement of research interests focusing on potential projects that would complement existing research in the Medley lab (medleylab.weebly.com), and the names and contact information of three references. Application materials must be submitted electronically through https://jobs.wustl.edu by entering the job ID number 32760 as a keyword under “Basic Job Search.”

Paper on agricultural wetlands in press

Our paper with colleagues at the University of Central Florida is in press at Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. Our work in agricultural wetlands embedded in two types of pasture management regimes (intense management and semi-natural) showed that land management results in different wetland communities (not surprising), but can also influence the relative role of local, niche-based factors and regional, dispersal-based factors that drive local biodiversity. Interestingly, this modulating influence of pasture management on local diversity differs by taxonomic group (insects, vertebrates, plants), an important consideration when restoring wetland communities in disturbed landscapes.