Undergraduate Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name



Biomedical Sciences

Faculty Mentor

Meghan E. Hermance


Terrence J. Ravine and Gabriela Gorelik


Haemaphysalis longicornis ticks are invasive to the United States with potential to transmit several tick-borne pathogens that are native to the United States. Based on existing locations of H. longicornis in its native regions in Asia, as well as its invasive populations that are established in the United States, several geographic range prediction models have been produced to help understand future range expansion and distribution of this invasive tick in North America. Unfortunately, these models do not all agree and there is uncertainty associated with the potential geographic range expansion of H. longicornis ticks in North America. Climate can affect tick populations by impacting where they spread geographically, and whether they will survive and reproduce. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that the microbial communities within ticks (a.k.a the tick microbiome) can impact tick fitness and pathogen acquisition/transmission. Therefore, it is important to understand the impact of various temperatures on the microbial communities within H. longicornis ticks. The objective of my work is to characterize how temperature affects the microbial diversity and composition within H. longicornis.