Anirudh Gandhi

undergraduate Fellow


How do you describe to your friends what you do at Tyson?

“For the most part, I just tell people I'm doing research. I think they assume that I'm working in a lab. Usually I just say, 'We're studying the abundance of ticks in burned versus unburned plots.' People just look at it as, 'Oh, they're just doing a census. Why are they censusing ticks? What's the point?'”

What do you say?

“It's important that I give them the usual sound bite that tick-borne diseases are increasing by 300 percent and we want to decrease how much that is. But I don't love thinking about it that way because some of this is worth studying for the sake of knowledge. There’s definitely a dissonance when you tell people you're doing some sort of research, because of the expected payoff that they're looking for when you're talking about that.”

Anirudh worked with Solny Adasteinsson's Tick & Wildlife Ecology team during summer 2018. Learn more about their prescribed fire and tick-borne disease ecology research here.