Area of expertise:
Acarology; acarology summer program; tick, bee mite, dust mite, bed bug physiology, behavior and ecology
I do research on acarines with specific interest in fundamental physiological processes that, when understood, may have some practical application. Research has been supported by industry, NIH, NSF and USDA-BARD.
TICKS: Ticks have received most of my attention since I began doing basic research on salivary glands. Since 1978 I have worked on tick-host interactions by using tools of molecular biology (expression libraries and DNA sequencing) to characterize salivary gland-produced proteins that are secreted into the host during early days of feeding. The concepts we seek to understand are at the cellular, organ, whole organism and host-parasite interaction levels. Off-host survival of ticks has also captured my interest. One student is studying how ticks over winter. Our water-balance physiology studies of ticks (see citation below) are inspired by the efforts of G.W. Wharton (deceased) who was director of the Acarology Laboratory for many years and one of the founding fathers of American acarology. I am also interested in promoting public health issues that relate to ticks (Lyme disease & Rocky Mt. spotted fever) and this has revolved around safe and effective removal of ticks from the host (see Stewart et al. 1998). Recent work has focused on how ixodid ticks survive harsh environmental conditions, especially high and low temperature and desiccation. Laboratory and small field tests suggest that the fungus Beauvaria bassiana may be and effective biological control agent for lone start ticks.
Working with ODH, ODNR and ODA we have formed a Tick Working Group that is monitoring the establishment of Ixodes scapularis ticks ('deer ticks'/blacklegged ticks) in Ohio.
HONEY BEE MITES: Mites of honey bees have become a problem in the U.S. since 1984 and I have assisted with education of beekeepers while doing basic and applied research on bee mites with an aim towards safe and effective control. An Annual Review of Entomology article appears in the year 2000 volume (see below). The bee-mite research is being concluded with this report.
HOUSE DUST MITES: Collaborations on the use of ultraviolet light for non-chemical control of mites and insects are underway with Dr. Leon Fourie at ClinVet in Bloemfontein, South Africa.We test acaricides for their efficacy for mite management on various fabrics. Mattress rotation preceded by thorough vacuuming is an excellent way to remove mites and allergen without use of an acaricide. I have been an active participant in both the Central Ohio Asthma Coalition and the Ohio Asthma Coalition, especially Environmental Quality issues.
Kai-Lun Hwang, 2006
Ken Cradock, 2005
Mohamed Selim, 1999
Richard Stewart, Jr. 1998
Jennifer M. Fain-Thornton, 1997
Diana Sammataro, 1995, (Co-advisor, Brian Smith)
Kathleen Curran, 1993
Debbie Jaworski, 1991
Marvin Sigal, 1990
Alan Smith, 1990
Ryan Bell, 2009
John Schaefer, 2007
Giancarlo Lopez-Martinez, 2003
Andrea Borton, 1999
Emmett Glass, 1997
Tom Pannabecker, 1982
Terry Miele, 1981
Undergraduate Student Research
Dr. Nour Sherif, April 1- December, 1986 (Fulbright Scholar)
Dr. Mahmoud El-Seify, (American Peace Fellowship)
Dr. Magdy Fahmy, (American Peace Fellowship)
Dr. Mohamed Aggour, Jan. - June, 1992 (National Ag. Research Project)
Dr. Mohamed Askalany, Jan. - June, 1992 (National Ag. Research Project)