After a few early years on the west coast, my family settled in the Chicago area, where I spent the rest of my childhood. I came to enjoy the outdoors, due to many travels to national parks of the west with family, and this interest probably led to my choice of biology as a major at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. A summer limnology course at the Wilderness Field Station in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area convinced me to develop a career working in pristine wilderness.
I entered graduate school in zoology at the University of North Carolina, under the guidance of Alan Stiven. My interests in life history evolution and population ecology were encouraged, along with the approach of choosing simple ecological systems to address basic questions with an experimental approach. During this time, I learned about the treehole mosquito community, which struck me as the perfect community to approach basic questions in ecology. After completing the PhD in 1978, I spent a year teaching at the Ohio State University regional campus at Lima, OH, and moved from there to a postdoctoral position at Princeton, under Robert May’s supervision. In 1980, I took a faculty position at Clark University.
At Clark, I have developed methods for quantifying the success of experimental populations, and this has enabled predictions about the outcome of competition between a native and an invading species. I continue to work with container breeding mosquitoes, with a particular interest in tracking invasions in North America and Bermuda. The most important habitats to understand are far from the pristine wilderness I once envisioned, as the invading mosquitoes do particularly well in piles of discarded tires.
After 37 years at Clark, I retired from teaching in May, 2017 and I closed my laboratory in summer of 2018. I continue to work on publications and collaboration with colleagues, and have recently visited Argentina, where I was a Zika Scholar lecturing and collaborating with students and researchers in Cordoba. I now live in Hubbardston, Massachusetts with my wife of 46+ years and cocker spaniel.
University of North Carolina,
Chapel Hill, N.C., 1978
B.A. cum laude (Biology)
St. Olaf College
Northfield, Minnesota, 1973
Senior Research Scientist, Department of Biology, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, 2017-present
Professor of Biology, Emeritus, Department of Biology, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, 2017-present
Professor of Biology, Department of Biology, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, 1995-2017
Warren Litsky ’45 Endowed Chair, Department of Biology, Clark University, 2014-2017
Acting Chairman, Department of Biology, Fall, 2000, Fall, 2003
Acting Director, Environmental Science and Policy Program, Spring, 2002
Chairman, Department of Biology, 1989-1993.
Associate Professor of Biology, Department of Biology, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, 1986-1995
Assistant Professor of Ecology, Department of Biology, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, 1980-1986
Visiting Research Fellow, Department of Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, 1979-1980. (Robert M. May, supervisor)
Lecturer, Department of Zoology, The Ohio State University, Lima Regional Campus, Lima, Ohio, 1978-1979