Videos are funny, but message is serious ‘Beware of ticks’

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URI tick researcher goes for funny bone with award winning Ticknado, sequel Polar Vorticks

KINGSTON, R.I. – April 1, 2014 – The cheesy movie, Sharknado became a viral sensation last August, and it inspired a team of University of Rhode Island researchers and social media experts. The result was Ticknado, a video short played for laughs but with a serious message.

Ticknado was developed as a culmination to an intensive tick borne disease prevention social media internship pilot project headed by Professor of Entomology Tom Mather, director of URI’s Center for Vector-Borne Disease and the TickEncounter Resource Center and Renee Hobbs, director of the Harrington School of Communication. The video was good for more than just a few yucks. It also won a national award from the Strategic Video Awards last fall. Watch the award-winning video, at