Wesley Tack

Wesley Tack

Vector Ecologist
Bio: 

Belgian, PhD – Wesley (1981) obtained his masters degree in bioscience engineering in 2005 at Ghent University (Ghent, Belgium). In 2013 he successfully completed his PhD at the same institute in collaboration with the Institute of Tropical Medicine (Antwerp, Belgium). His PhD focused on the impact of forest conversion, i.e. the conversion of homogeneous coniferous plantations into more natural deciduous woodland, on the abundance and distribution of tick populations. His research activities include the biology and ecology of ticks, the epidemiology of tick-borne diseases including Lyme borreliosis, the impact of human activities (forest management, land-use and land-cover change) on the spatial distribution and abundance of ticks and their main hosts (e.g. rodents), and the ecological aspects with the finality of tick control. He has published several papers on his results and has presented at numerous international conferences and scientific workshops. Wesley joined Avia-GIS in 2012 as vector ecologist at the Precision Pest Management Business Unit and is responsible for the technical and scientific support in several scientific projects focusing on veterinary and medical vectors and invasive plant and animal species. He focuses on predictive spread modeling of vector species (e.g. ticks, mosquitoes and culicoides) and on statistical and non-statistical techniques for presence/absence modeling of invasive species distribution. He is also responsible for the GIS-training Avia-GIS provides as part of the Masters in Tropical Animal Health at the Institute of Tropical Medicine (Antwerp, Belgium) and the development of dynamic web mapping applications.