Pierre Chuard

Bishop’s University
Membre employé(e) / Employed member candidate

Supervisor: Jade Savage
Start: 2018-09-01
Personal page
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Project

Citizen-based surveillance of Ixodes scapularis and other ticks in ON, QC and NB using eTick.ca, a web platform dedicated to image-based tick identification
Increasing temperatures associated with global climate change are likely driving northward expansion and population growth of hard ticks and especially of Ixodes scapularis (the vector of Lyme disease) in North America. This rapid range expansion has been in turn associated with an 8-fold increase in reported Lyme disease incidence in Canada over the last decade. As the volume of ticks sent to public health authorities for identification keeps on increasing year after year, current passive surveillance practices are no longer sustainable. As further climate-related range expansion of I. scapularis and other medically relevant ticks in Canada are to be expected, we propose to supplement current surveillance resources through the expansion and further development of eTick.ca, an existing web platform where citizens can submit pictures of ticks online for rapid identification by an expert. Along with the species name, submitters receive a message detailing the medical relevance of the species collected as well as provincial guidelines regarding the protocol to follow after a tick bite. This initiative directly engages the public in the process of tick surveillance, improves the dissemination of messages of public health relevance, and will eventually result in the collection of large amounts of data about the distribution of ticks in eastern Canada. The free image-based identification service of eTick.ca is currently only available in the province of Quebec. We propose here to: i) expand the scope of the existing web-platform to Ontario and New Brunswick; ii) develop a mobile eTick.ca application to improve accessibility, especially for users under 35 years of age; and iii) upgrade the website user interface to improve cosmetics and user experience as well as update and increase resources pertaining to tick-borne diseases for site users and visitors.

Keywords

black-legged tick, vector-borne diseases, Lyme disease, ticks, citizen science, climate change, Distribution spatiale, public health

Publications

1- Competition for food in 2 populations of a wild-caught fish
Chuard, Pierre J C, Grant E Brown, James W A Grant
2018 Current Zoology

2- Personality and the retention of neophobic predator avoidance in wild caught Trinidadian guppies
Brown, Grant E., Pierre J.C. Chuard, Ebony E.M. Demers, Indar W. Ramnarine, Douglas P. Chivers, Maud C.O. Ferrari
2018 Behaviour

3- The effects of adult sex ratio on mating competition in male and female guppies (Poecilia reticulata) in two wild populations
Chuard, Pierre J.C., Grant E. Brown, James W.A. Grant
2016 Behavioural Processes

4- Local predation risk shapes spatial and foraging neophobia patterns in Trinidadian guppies
Elvidge, Chris K., Pierre J.C. Chuard, Grant E. Brown
2016 Current Zoology