'Rats Around Town' topic of Science & Technology lecture at VIU March 4

"Rats About Town" is the topic of a a free public lecture at Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) Nanaimo campus on Wednesday, March 4.

March 2, 2015 - 9:45am

Rats have been, and continue to be, the source of numerous germs transmissible to people and responsible for significant human morbidity and mortality in cities globally.

Despite anecdotal evidence that rats are thriving in cities across Canada, there is little data in Canada on rats, their parasites and their pathogens.

Kaylee Byers, a PhD candidate at the University of BC, will deliver a free public lecture at Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) Nanaimo campus on Wednesday, March 4 called “Rats About Town: Parasites and Pathogens Carried By Rats in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.”

The free lecture is part of VIU’s weekly Science & Technology lecture series and takes place from 7 to 8 pm at the Nanaimo campus, Building 356, Room 109.

According to Byers, the Vancouver Rat Project (VRP; vancouverratproject.com) was founded in 2010 to study the ecology and epidemiology of rat-associated pathogens in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES).

In her talk, Byers will cover what is known about rat pathogens in the DTES, and share the goals and some preliminary data from her doctoral research.

Byers is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia with an interest in host-parasite relationships and animal behaviour. Prior to commencing her doctoral studies, she completed a Master of Science degree at the University of Alberta.

Byers is a Vanier and Killam Scholar, and organizes a science outreach event called “Nerd Nite Vancouver” (vancouver.nerdnite.com).

For a complete schedule of upcoming lectures in the series, please go to http://web.viu.ca/simmsw

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Janina Stajic, Manager, Vancouver Island University

P: 250-740-6288 E: Janina.Stajic@viu.ca T: @viunews


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