Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Thomas J. Daniels


Thomas J. Daniels | Vector Ecology

Associate Research Scientist
Co-Director, Vector Ecology Laboratory

Louis Calder Center
53 Whippoorwill Rd., Box 887
Armonk, NY 10504
PhD - 1987, University of Colorado
MS – 1980, Ohio State University
BS – 1977, Seton Hall University
Phone: 914-273-3078, Ext. 22
Fax: 914-273-6346 or 914-273-2167
E-mail: or

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


·   The ecology and epidemiology of vector-borne diseases, specifically tick and mosquito-transmitted diseases in the northeastern US
·   Life history and control of Ixodes scapularis, the blacklegged (deer) tick
·   Ecology of Ochlerotatus japonicus, a newly introduced mosquito species
·   Vertebrate social organization and communication, particularly of canids
·   Domestication and feralization

Current Research Projects at the Vector Ecology 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 of West Nile virus, other mosquito species are suspected of being secondary or bridge vectors.  We have initiated studies to determine the identity of these species and study their role in the ecology of West Nile virus in the northeast.

Map demonstrates an approximate distribution of predicted Lyme disease risk in the US.  Refer to for further information.

Source: Durland Fish, Ph.D. & Carrie Howard, M.A., Dept. of Epidemiology & Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

Graduate Research Projects

Pending availability of funds, we are looking for graduate students that might be interested in working on one of several projects.  These include (but are not limited to) developing a method to age ticks reliably in order to better understand population structure, investigating how newly introduced species affect community composition, and determining the sources of tick bloodmeals.

If interested, contact me at: or

Full-Time Laboratory Personnel

Co-Director of the VEL: Dr. Richard C. Falco
Research technician: Theresa Boccia
Research technician:  James Vellozzi

Society Memberships

Society for Vector Ecology
New York Entomological Society

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