On October 24, in a public talk, Tom Schwan, Ph.D., will present his discovery of a tickborne disease not previously found in the Bitterroot Valley.

The discovery last year east of Corvallis of a tick carrying the bacterium that causes relapsing fever is one of several experiences he'll detail in the presentation at the Hamilton High School Performing Arts Center. "Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases: From Montana to Mali" will start at 7 p.m. and will include research in West Africa, the Flathead Valley and work that lead to the 1981 discovery of the cause of Lyme disease at Hamilton's Rocky Mountain Laboratories.

In a news release, Schwan said he hoped to convince people that ticks are adapted for a unique lifestyle and the "importance of these little vampires as transmitters of infectious agents."

Schwan retired from Rocky Mountain Labs earlier this year, but continues to mentor its scientists on a limited basis, according to Ken Pekoc.

Schwan has been a senior investigator and a lab chief during his career at the lab, part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.

The talk is part of a continuing series the lab is presenting and is free to the public October 24 at the Hamilton High School, 327 Fairgrounds Road.