Project properties

Title Ecology of host-tick-pathogen interactions
Group Entomology, Laboratory of
Project type thesis
Credits 36
Supervisor(s) Sander Koenraadt, Helen Esser, Fred de Boer
Examiner(s) Marcel Dicke
Contact info helen.esser@wur.nl
Begin date 2018/01/15
End date 2019/10/15
Description Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is among the most important vector-borne diseases in Europe and Eurasia. Both the distribution and number of cases have increased during the past decades, and the virus is now also endemic in the Netherlands. In this project, we aim to understand how factors such as microclimate, wildlife community structure, host reservoir competence, and co-feeding of ticks on rodent hosts are involved in the transmission dynamics and ecology of TBEV. Fieldwork involves live trapping of small mammals, tick drag sampling, and some vegetation surveys.

We are looking for motivated students who work well in a team. Several sub-themes can be chosen, for example: which intrinsic and extrinsic ecological factors are related to�
1) �tick infestation (co-feeding) on rodent hosts?
2) �questing tick abundance and questing height?
3) �TBEV antibody prevalence in rodent hosts?
4) �and more

Fieldwork will take place in various locations throughout the Netherlands from ca. 15 February � 15 May 2018
Used skills Experimental design, data-analysis, writing scientific report and a team player
Requirements The following courses are strongly encouraged: ENT-30806, ENT-51306 and a statistics course, particularly Ecological Methods I (REG-31806).

For doing a BSc-thesis at Entomology, there are no requirements for specific courses.
For doing a MSc-thesis or internship at Entomology, the following requirements apply: ENT-30806 + a second ENT-course (preferably ENT-30306 or ENT-50806 or ENT-53806). As an alternative for the second ENT-course, PHP-30806 or BHE-30306 can be selected.
Note: these requirements do not apply for MBI students; MBI students should check the requirements for doing an ENT MSc-thesis or internship in the study programme of their specialisation.