Dr. Jean Tsao
Michigan State University
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Jean Tsao has over 20 years of experience studying Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease (LD), and its vector, the blacklegged tick. Her research includes both basic science (what are the ecological factors that affect how Borrelia and ticks are distributed across the landscape?) and practical public health (where are areas that are the most risky for ticks that might be carrying Borrelia?). Jean and her students have documented the invasion of blacklegged ticks and Borrelia across Michigan and they continue to monitor both species around the state. Jean helped develop a program at Michigan State for the study of conservation medicine and she teaches courses in medical entomology and field ecology of disease vectors like ticks and mosquitoes. She also trains veterinary students to investigate diseases in wildlife and diseases that move from wild animals to humans, companion animals, and livestock.