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 scapularisI. pacificus and I. angustus ticks has been compared to the microbiome of Dermacentor variabilisD. 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.

Janet Sperling smile with her lab coat on at the University of Alberta.
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Tick removal kits

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We are a volunteer driven, registered charity. All proceeds go to education, prevention, awareness, research, and support.
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Prevention tips

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Regular tick checks are a way to check your body for crawling or embedded ticks. Check everywhere including these hotspots.
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Donate now

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Your donation helps us to fund research and education for health care providers, advance prevention and awareness of Lyme disease – and more.
Illustrations in four panels of how to remove a tick by using tweezers and grabbing way low down near where it's embedded on the skin and pulling straight up, and then washing the skin around where it was embedded.

Tick removal

2 min read
If you’ve discovered an embedded tick on yourself or someone else there are a few important things to remember.
A microscopic view of borrelia burgdorferi, a corkscrew shaped bacteria.

Lyme basics

3 min read
Although it is most commonly associated with a tick bite, many people who have Lyme disease do not recall seeing or feeling a tick bite.
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7 min read
By taking the right precautions and spreading the word, you can effectively protect yourself, and your family, from Lyme.