Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Reader 1

Sarah Budischak

Reader 2

Donald McFarlane

Rights Information

Cynthia Perez


Lyme disease is the most common vector borne disease in the United States. Recent increases in Lyme disease cases over the past two decades have caused major concerns for future human health and wildlife conservation. One of the major contributors to the increase in Lyme disease incidence has been forest fragmentation, which is caused by the intensification of human land use patterns. Despite extensive research that has been conducted on Lyme disease ecology in North America, there are still major uncertainties regarding variations in Lyme disease risk and incidence in different fragmented habitats. It is crucial to address these uncertainties so that public health organizations are capable of making accurate estimates of vector distribution and human risk, allowing for more efficient disease control and prevention strategies. I propose that to help researchers fill these knowledge gaps and better understand how disease risk translates to disease incidence, human behavioral data in response to different fragmented landscapes must be incorporated into current research methodologies. This study aims to survey and assess human protective behaviors against Lyme disease risk of exposure in two states of high Lyme disease incidence, New Jersey and Wisconsin, using a preexisting research application named the Tick app. This new human behavioral data, gathered by the Tick app, should allow for comparison against measures of forest fragmentation, tick abundance, and disease incidence.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.