Ticks. Most people just think ticks are disgusting, blood-sucking, disease-vector, eight-legged, nightmare-fodder little bugs.
But, according to researcher Dr. Holly Gaff, “While they aren’t wrong about most of those things (ticks are not bugs – they aren’t even insects!), ticks live an incredibly complex and bizarre life history that every time we think we know something about them. They make you a liar as you learn the truth is something even more complex and bizarre.”
Gaff, associate professor in the Biological Sciences department will answer all tick-related questions during the next Science Pub, “Don’t Be Outsmarted by a Tick: Understand the Risks of Ticks in Hampton Roads,” on Tuesday, Sept. 18. Gaff is the ringleader of the ODU Tick Research Team, is working hard to better understand the current and future threats from ticks and tick-borne diseases in Hampton Roads.
“Seriously though, we do this work because tick-borne diseases are on the rise, and many people who get these diseases have their lives changed forever with unending pain, exhaustion, and other lifelong issues,” Gaff said. “While our work doesn’t focus directly on the patients since we aren’t medical doctors, we do our work to try to use what we learn to better understand and hopefully reduce the risk of future cases.”
Science Pubs are an opportunity for the community to engage with ODU researchers in an informal setting. Join us for a lively and engaging discussion; a curious mind is all that’s needed!
Networking begins at 6 p.m. followed by trivia and talks at 6:30 at Rip Rap Brewing Co, 116 E. 25th St., Norfolk. Arrive early and receive a free beverage on ODU.
RSVPs are highly encouraged at https://www.odu.edu/partnerships/community/programs/science-pubs. Follow Science Pubs ODU on Facebook and Twitter for information on upcoming Pubs and speakers, trivia, and contests.
Upcoming Pubs include a talk by Dr. Tom Allen, professor of political science and geography on Oct. 17 at Oozlefinch Brewing Co. in Hampton, and Dr. Roderick Graham, assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice in November on cybercrime.