Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 


Richard C. Falco

Publications

    
Richard C. Falco | Medical Entomology


  Associate Research Scientist
Co-Director, Vector Ecology Laboratory
  Vector Ecology Laboratory
Louis Calder Center
53 Whippoorwill Rd., Box 887
Armonk, NY 10504
PhD - 1987, Fordham University   Phone: 914-273-3078, Ext. 33
Fax: (914) 273-6346 or (914) 273-2167
E-mail: rfalco@fordham.edu

OTHER POSITIONS

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY

RESEARCH INTERESTS
  • The ecology and epidemiology of vector-borne diseases
  • Risk assessment and development of surveillance strategies for tick and mosquito-borne diseases, particularly Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and encephalitis
  • Epidemiology of tick bites; prophylaxis of tick-borne diseases after tick bite
  • Ecology of Ochlerotatus japonicus, a newly introduced mosquito species
  • Local ecology of West Nile virus
  • Public health entomology

Current Research Projects at the Vector Research Laboratory

  Population dynamics of deer ticks

The Vector Ecology Laboratory currently is conducting one of the longest-running population studies of the deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, in the world.  By using mark-release-recapture techniques, we have been studying population dynamics of all three active tick stages since 1985.  These data have allowed us to develop annual life history tables, investigate biotic and abiotic factors that regulate tick populations, and correlate tick abundance with Lyme disease risk.
  Biological control of ticks

There is a need to develop biological control agents that can be incorporated effectively into an IPM approach for tick control.  We are involved in several laboratory and field projects to assess the impact of natural agents, e.g., fungi and nematodes, on the mortality of the deer tick.
  Dogs as sentinels for tick-borne diseases

There is much evidence to show that human case surveillance is not always an accurate indicator of Lyme disease risk over a large area.  Therefore, alternate methods of measuring risk must be developed so that prevention and control efforts can be efficiently targeted.  We have demonstrated that canine serologic studies can effectively measure human Lyme disease risk.  In collaboration with researchers at New York Medical College, we are currently involved in several studies examining the relationship between canine exposure and human risk for other tick-borne diseases, including ehrlichiosis and babesiosis.
  Community-based tick control study

As deer tick populations continue to grow and expand into new areas, effective community-wide control programs are needed.  In collaboration with scientists at the U. S. Dept. of Agriculture and five other research institutions, we are participating in a study to determine the effectiveness of the “4 poster device” in controlling host-seeking nymphal I. scapularis.  Deer are attracted to the baited stations and are treated with a topical acaricide when they feed.  We hypothesize that by killing ticks on deer, Lyme disease risk will be reduced over a large area.
  Distribution and population dynamics of Ochlerotatus japonicus in southern New York state

Oc. japonicus is a mosquito species newly introduced into the United States.  Little is presently known about the ecology of this potential vector.  We are currently studying the prevalence and distribution of this mosquito in southern New York state, both on spatial and temporal scales.  In collaboration with researchers from the    U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, we are also studying the most effective trapping methods that may be employed to collect this species for surveillance and virus isolation studies.
  Ecology of West Nile vectors in New York state

Although the common house mosquito, Culex pipiens, has been identified as the primary vector ofWest Nile virus, other mosquito species are suspected of being secondary or bridge vectors.  We haveinitiated studies to determine the identity of these species and study their role in the ecology of West Nile virus in the northeast.

Full-Time Laboratory Personnel

Co-Director of the VEL: Dr. Thomas Daniels
Research technician: Theresa Boccia
Research technician:  James Vellozzi



James, Tom, & Theresa

Memberships

Acarological Society of America
American Mosquito Control Association
American Public Health Association
Entomological Society of America
New York Entomological Society
Northeastern Mosquito Control Association

Hobbies and Recreation

NASCAR fan. My driver is John Andretti and the #43 Cheerios Dodge
Collector of political buttons
Reading (usually current events or politics)
Avid moviegoer

    RF and the 43 car

Season ticket holder for the Minnesota Vikings (since 1987)                       

RF on the sidelines at the Metrodome

 

ODD FACT: Never had a plum until I was 30.

For more information on ticks and tick borne diseases, try these links:
American Lyme Disease Foundation (www.aldf.com)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/lyme/index.htm)

For more information on mosquitoes and West Nile virus, try these links:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm)
New York State Department of Health (www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/westnile/index.htm)
New York City Department of Health (www.ci.nyc.ny.us/html/doh/html/wnv/wnvhome.html)

For current information on infectious disease outbreaks, try this link:
ProMED-mail (www.promedmail.org)

 


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