Since we last updated you summer 2019, grad student Payton Phillips has been hard at work with her research. She is focusing on Lyme disease ecology in and around the Philadelphia area, so she spends most of her summers out in the field. Last summer, she successfully completed a comprehensive pilot study at 10 field sites. Her methods included small mammal trapping, tick collection, surveying vegetation, and deploying trail cameras with her team of three undergraduates.
Payton’s initial pilot study was a success and yielded useful data for grant applications and her prelim proposal! With these promising results, she hoped to dramatically expand her sampling efforts this year. Unfortunately, her plans were derailed due to COVID-19. The university put plans into place that prevented Payton from being allowed to have a crew of undergraduates in the field with her.
Even with all of the uncertainty and setbacks, Payton is still managing to get out in the field this summer. Though she couldn’t stick to her full plan, she has been deploying trail cameras which will provide huge amounts of data on the mammalian community in the Philadelphia area. The lab can’t wait to have everyone back out in the field eventually!