Volk speaks with News Center Maine about tick tracking

News Center Maine interviewed Michelle Volk, a graduate student of ecology and environmental sciences at the University of Maine, about tracking tick populations in the state. Field biologists have been collecting tick samples from all 16 counties in Maine to provide a snapshot of the overall population, according to the report. Volk has been monitoring tick migration in northern and Down East Maine. She previously concluded in her research that ticks can survive the winter in some areas. The UMaine graduate student collected 635 ticks from several sites including Orono and Cape Elizabeth, according to the article. Those ticks were tested for the bacteria that causes Lyme, Anaplasmosis and Babeisois. “Lyme disease was about 20% in Cape Elizabeth and then 9% in Orono,” Volk said. She and other graduate students tried to locate ticks at Seboeis public lands outside of Millinocket and in Presque Isle, but came up empty handed. Volk plans to defend her data for her thesis to earn a master’s degree in ecology and environmental sciences. According to the report, her research could be compiled into a tick tracking map that shows the public where deer ticks are located, especially in areas that report very few cases of Lyme disease.