Bard Events Calendar

Bard Summer Research Institute Presents

Thursday, July 20, 2017

How Does Biological Control of Ticks Affect Non-target Organisms?

Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium
3:00 pm

Ilya R. Fischhoff
Postdoctoral Associate
Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies

Ilya Fischhoff is a postdoctoral fellow with The Tick Project ( The Tick Project is a 5-year study to determine whether controlling ticks at the neighborhood scale reduces tick-borne diseases in people. One of the tick control methods that The Tick Project is evaluating is Met52, a biopesticide containing spores of a tick-killing fungus. In assessing Met52, it is important to evaluate not only its efficacy in reducing tick-borne disease but also its impacts on non-target organisms. Ilya will present results from an experiment he conducted last summer to assess the effects of Met52 on non-target arthropods in lawn and forest habitats typical of residential yards. Ilya sampled arthropods on treatment and control plots, before and after spray with Met52 on the treatment plots or water on the control plots. Ilya used multivariate models to analyze the data on arthropod abundance in 25 taxonomic orders. There were significant effects of plot location, period (before vs. after spray) and habitat (lawn vs. forest), but no effect of treatment (Met52 vs. water). A retrospective power analysis showed that the study had an 80% chance of detecting a reduction in arthropod abundance of 55% or greater. Based on these results, Ilya and his collaborators concluded that the use of Met52 in suburban yards is unlikely to cause meaningful reductions in the abundance of non-target arthropods. Finally, Ilya will also talk briefly about a microcosm experiment he is setting up to examine interactions among Met52, ticks, and brush-legged wolf spiders, a natural enemy of ticks.

For more information, call 845-758-2337, or e-mail

Time: 3:00 pm

Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium