Essig Museum of Entomology

California's Ticks and Bees

With Ecoengine funding, the Essig Museum hired students to image, recurate, and database 700+ tick specimens collected in California over the last century by Professors Deane Furman and Robert Lane. These specimens are being used by researchers to further understand the complex interactions between Sudden Oak Death (SOD), Lyme disease, ticks and tick hosts.

Another Berkeley Global Change project led by Professor Neil Tsutsui is examining how bees, pathogens, plants, and pollination activities have changed in response to urbanization and agricultural land conversion. To help select appropriate specimens for the study, the Ecoengine team georeferenced 2000+ Apis melifera records and integrated data from 8000+ specimens of native and non-native bee species collected by Professor Gordon Frankie's lab from urban bee gardens across California.

In addition, through a collaboration with the CalBug project and Joan Ball-Damerow, we are serving the most complete data set ever published (over 32,000 records) on the damselflies and dragonflies (Odonata) of California. Combined with habitat, climate, and hydrology data, these records illustrate shifts in Odonata distribution relative to environmental change over the past 100+ years.

Ixodes pacificus, the main carrier
of Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria
which causes lyme disease. 
Photo by Joyce Gross
Sceloporus occidentalis, a carrier of
Ixodes pacificus, has borreliacidal
factor in its blood. 
Photo by Joyce Gross
Bark of a Quercus agrifola infected
with Phytophthora ramorum, the
caustive agent of Sudden Oak Death.
Loss of oak habitat alters prevalence
of tick carriers
, such as Sceloporus.
Photo by Ted Swiecki
Apis mellifera commonly 
known as the honey bee 
photo by Joyce Gross

Relevant Publications

Ball-Damerow, J.E., Oboyski, P.T., Resh, V.H. (2015) California dragonfly and damselfly (Odonata) database: temporal and spatial distribution of species records collected over the past century. Zookeys (482) pp 67-89. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.482.8453