Janet Sperling, PhD
President, CanLyme, Entomologist
Janet is an entomologist intrigued by ticks and fascinated by the bacterial communities they carry. First introduced to Lyme disease as an undergraduate student, she was horrified to discover 20 years later that learning about Lyme in a classroom isn’t enough to prevent the devastation of Lyme disease in active kids.
Janet’s research focusses on description of the bacterial microbiome of 6 commonly encountered species of ticks from across Canada using 16S rRNA. The bacterial microbiome of Ixodes scapularis, I. pacificus and I. angustus ticks has been compared to the microbiome of Dermacentor variabilis, D. andersoni and D. albipctus. Understanding the population structure of ticks and processes that may contribute to it, such as bird migration routes, contributes to modelling the spread of tick-associated diseases. She continue to explore functional hypotheses of processes underlying patterns of microbial community composition within and between tick species and limitations of our commonly used techniques.
Janet received her BSc (Horticulture) in 1983, MSc (Entomology) in 1988 and PhD (Systematics and Evolution) in 2021 from the University of Alberta.