Vanessa Farnsworth is a science journalist, former horticulturist, and long-time resident of the BC Interior. Her articles focus primarily on nature, the environment, agriculture and the fertile ground where these subjects intersect.
During a career that has spanned more than 25 years, Vanessa has delved into native plants and fungi, citizen science, ticks and tick-borne illnesses, farming practices, insect invasions, grafting techniques, pollinator health, and climate change. She is interested in rare plants, novel insects, threats to nature from within and without, environmental gardening/farming practices, and anyone who has made a career pursuing these things. A list of some recent articles can be found here.
Vanessa's interest in ticks and tick-borne illnesses began in 2007 when she was diagnosed with what was at the time considered to be an improbable combination of illnesses: Lyme disease and relapsing tick fever. Her memoir, Rain on a Distant Roof: A Personal Journey Through Lyme Disease in Canada (Signature Editions, 2013), examined both the destructive personal toll these diseases took on her life and the growing Lyme disease crisis in this country. In 2019, she launched The Lyme Report, a bi-monthly subscription email newsletter devoted to tick and tick-borne illness research in Canada.
Vanessa continues to research and write about ticks, Lyme disease, and related tick-borne illnesses and has spoken to audiences across Canada. She founded this site in 2013 as a way to help Canadians keep up with the latest Canadian research into ticks and tick-borne illnesses, subjects that we have traditionally known little or nothing about.
Listen to Vanessa speaking about the complicated role of climate change on ticks invading Canada on the Harrowsmith Radio Podcast.