Ecological and Evolutionary Trends of Lyme disease in the Northeastern United States

by Collin Hayes

From the Author:

“When my biology professor first introduced our research assignment in class, I had no idea where to begin to look within the vast ocean of information that is the habitat for the subjects of ecology and evolution. I could have written my paper on almost any existent life form, but I had to pursue it with a depth and specificity of research that would amount to writing proficiency in the biology major, a daunting task to say the least. On top of this, the research assignment was to be in the form of a review paper, a comprehensive analysis of primary literature, unlike any lab report I had written before. There was no methods section to guide me; instead there was only my own inspiration and Goucher’s library services.

The subject of my review paper came to me in a rather peculiar way. I was speaking to my distant great aunt at my great grandmother’s funeral when she brought up the subject that Lyme Disease may have contributed to my grandfather’s death years ago. My great aunt happened to be conducting holistic research in various chronic diseases across the US and I began my research by posing her a series of questions that led to an online query in Goucher’s Biological Abstracts and Academic Search Complete library databases. After spending two weeks reviewing the latest research from experts on tick ecology and Lyme Disease evolution and ordering articles from the interlibrary loan service, I amassed enough information to synthesize the story of Lyme Disease in the Northeastern US. Not only was I able to isolate fascinating pertinent information using the library’s databases, but I also learned how to manage my way through the scientific community, an invaluable lesson since I aim to one day contribute to this same community.”

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