Learn more about our research!

Our tick on Staten Island


Learn more about our fundingNSF CHN Award


Visit our lab's website to learn more: The Eco-Epidemiology Lab

Our current projects

The Eco-epidemiology lab led by Prof. Maria Diuk-Wasser has been conducting several tick-focused research projects in NYC since 2017. Our field work has focused primarily on Staten Island, the most affected borough.

Image of a deer from a camera trap
Islands and Corridors: The urban disease landscape

Through tracking deer and mice movement, sampling tick and mice in parks and screening for pathogens, this project will determine how tick-borne diseases, like Lyme disease, can emerge and persist on Staten Island.

A cat walking through leaf litter in a park
A game of cat and mouse

This project examines the role of urban feral cats in the Lyme disease system as potential predators of the main host of the disease, the white-footed mouse.

Member of the research team sampling ticks in a yard
Tick encounters: understanding people’s risk

During house visits, we will evaluate the risk in the yards by sampling for ticks and conducting a survey to learn about protective measures people undertake or are willing to implement. This data will be combined with the data collected in parks and The Tick App to understand how can we better prevent tick exposure and provide custom-made solutions  for Staten Islanders.

The Tick App logo
The Tick App

The main goal of this project is to study human behavior, tick exposure and the risk of Lyme disease using a citizen science approach via a smartphone application, The Tick App. The Tick App uses a combination of surveys and geolocation technology to uncover how people's day-to-day activities play a role in their risk for tick-borne diseases.

Latest News

New and Improved Update of “The Tick App” Released

Spring marks the start of nymphal blacklegged tick season, and this year the newest version 3.2.0 of The Tick App has been released. Through citizen science, we examine the ways human behavior and day-to-day activities influence people’s risk for tick-borne diseases and tick exposure. The Tick App features daily logs, tick identification services, local tick activity reports, tick check reminders, and more!. Turning on location services can inform you about local blacklegged tick activity. 

As work from home and social distancing will limit research and education on tick-borne diseases this summer, remote participation through citizen science is crucial. 

The Tick App team is also partnering with health departments and vector control units in the Northeast to promote The Tick App and provide them with information on tick activity affecting their communities. 

By filling out daily logs, interacting with, and using our new application, you can assist us in answering our team’s research question: how and where are people being exposed to ticks? This will help us develop strategies to minimize your risk of tick exposure through carefully designed prevention strategies.  

If you’ve previously downloaded The Tick App, remember to update it to the newest version. Because of the update, tick identification services are processed quicker for version 3.2.0 users. 

Please download The Tick App through the Apple App Store or Google Play and start fighting ticks today!