Lyme disease transmission more commonly occurs in forest edge habitat; however, research is lacking in urban areas around habitat fragmentation in forms of city green spaces. Surveillance will be an important preventative measure for disease risk as governmental surveys report an increase in rodents, reservoirs of Lyme disease, in urban housing. This project will have 2 aims: to determine the prevalence of Lyme bacteria in ticks and rodents from Jamaica Plain, and to examine the correlation between Lyme bacteria presence and urban green spaces. Interdisciplinary in project design and representative of the One Health paradigm; this research will utilize the expertise of multiple disciplines, and show how human, wildlife, and environmental health are all connected. This study expects to find potential zoonotic health risks as industrialization continues to change the environment.
Dayna is a Master's student studying Conservation Medicine at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. She expects to complete her studies in September 2019. Before coming to Tufts Dayna earned her B.S. in Zoology from Delaware Valley University. Dayna has held a wide range of positions from working in the rainforests of Costa Rica, to zoos, and animal husbandry labs. For the past 4 years, Dayna has worked in pediatric primary care, which has helped her build relationships with families and communities, a skill she believes she will be useful in conservation.
Current Studies and Future Goals
When asked what she found most meaningful about her field of study, Dayna responded with the following: "In the Conservation Medicine program, the practice of one-health is always discussed. Knowing that the health of humans, wildlife, and the environment are all interconnected is the most meaningful message to me".
When asked what interested her in becoming a TIE Fellow, Dayna responded with the following: "TIE is interdisciplinary, exemplifying the one-health paradigm. In my career I strive to bridge the gap between animal health and human health, all while considering environmental changes can have major impacts on both human and wildlife populations. I firmly believe that TIE will help me close this gap between multiple disciplines".
Dayna plans to either pursue a PhD or attend medical school once she graduates from Tufts. Long-term, she would like to work in infectious disease and public health, focusing on arthropod-borne disease.
When not doing school work, Dayna can be found outside hiking or gardening, or playing board games, knitting, or spending time with her cats Taco and Oakland.
Favorite Movie: Jurassic Park
Favorite Place You've Visited: Iceland
Favorite Thing You've Seen: Salamanders migrating to their vernal pools to breed
Favorite Course Taken at Tufts: GIS for Conservation Medicine