New preprint posted with Colby alumnus28 Apr 2023
Last week Joseph Savage (class of 2022) posted a preprint of his Biology Honor’s thesis on bioRxiv! The manuscript, which will soon be submitted for peer review, asks the question How do host population dynamics impact Lyme disease risk dynamics in theoretical models? The novel approach that Joseph took was that he added a dimension of biological reality to a host-tick-Lyme model where he allowed host populations—primarily small mammals that are strongly influenced by masting tree species like oaks and maples—to vary dynamically, just like they are commonly observed to do in natural populations. We find that including this realistic aspect of host populations makes for more accurate predictions of prevalence of Lyme. Here is a link to the study: link.