Nicolas De Pelsmaeker

Nationality: Belgian
Partner institution: University College of Southeast Norway (USN)
Start and end date of PhD: March 6th 2017 – March 6th 2020
Supervisors: Dr. Øyvind Steifetten (USN) and Dr. Andrew Jenkins

PhD title: Spatial Tick Ecology in Norway

Description of research project:
My research focuses on the altitudinal and geographical distribution of ticks Ixodes ricinus in Norway. It comprises a variety of assessment methods, including flag dragging and rodent host capture along an altitudinal gradient on several locations in Norway. I will also conduct a survey of cat owners to estimate the abundance and density of tick dispersion in the whole of Norway, using cats as a proxy.

Another part of the research will investigate survival and life cycle recruitment of ticks at different altitudes using an experimental setup in the field. The result of this project will be a comprehensive understanding in the effects of climate change, altitude and host availability on the occurrence and questing phenology of ticks in Norway.