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Dr. Thomas Simmons

Contact Information Shea Simmons Tick Dragging Cropped
Office Hours


BA Zoology – State University of New York at Oswego
MA Biology – State University of New York at Oneonta
PhD Biology – St. John’s University, New York
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Toxicology – University of Rochester School of Medicine

FieldBlacklegged Tick

Vector and Disease Ecology


BIOL 221 Environmental Health and Protection
BIOL 310 Applied Entomology and Zoonoses
BIOL 456/556 Ecological Toxicology
BIOL 460/560 Fundamentals of Environmental Epidemiology
BIOL 476/576 Parasitology


Our research program is focused on understanding the ecology of insects and ticks that transmit human pathogens, especially as it relates to disease risk. We are currently studying the ecology of the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and its human pathogens that cause Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi), anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum), and babesiosis (Babesia microti) in rural and urban landscapes of Pennsylvania. We are also investigating the parasitic relationships between water mites and mosquitoes (e.g., Anopheles spp., Aedes spp., Culex spp., and Coquillettidia sp.) that vector arboviruses (e.g., West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis viruses) or other microbial disease agents.


Dr. Simmons with students in labSimmons, T. W., Hutchinson, M.L. (2016) A critical review of all known published records for water mite (Acari: Hydrachnidiae) and mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) parasitic associations  from 1975 to present. Journal of Medical Entomology (doi: 10.1093/jme/tjw052).

Keshari, V., Adeeb, B., Simmons, A.E., Simmons, T.W., Diep, C.Q. (2016) Zebrafish as a model to assess the teratogenic potential of nitrite. Journal of Visualized Experiments 108:e53615 (doi:10.3791/53615).

Simmons, T.W., Shea, J., Myers-Claypole, M.A., Kruise, R., Hutchinson M.L. (2015) Seasonal activity, density and collection efficiency of Ixodes scapularis in mid-western Pennsylvania. Journal of Medical Entomology 52: 1260-1269 (doi: 10.1093/jme/tjv132)

Hutchinson, M.L., Strohecker, M.D., Simmons, T.W., Kyle, A.D., Helwig, M.W. (2015) Prevalence rates of Borrelia burgdorferi (Spirochaetales: Spirochaetaceae), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (Rickettsiales: Anaplasmataceae), and Babesia microti (Piropolasmida: Babesiidae) in host-seeking Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) from Pennsylvania. Journal of Medical Entomology 52:
693-698 (doi: 10.1093/jme/tjv037).

Kirkhoff, C., Simmons, T.W., Hutchinson, M. (2013). Adult mosquitoes parasitized by larval water mites in Pennsylvania, USA. Journal of Parasitology 99: 31-39 (doi: 10.1645/GE-3105.1).

Simmons, A.E., Karimi, I, Talwar, M., Simmons, T.W. (2012). Effects of nitrite on development of embryos and early larval stages of the zebrafish (Danio rerio). Zebrafish 9: 200-206 (doi: 10.1089/zeb.2012.0746)

Yasick, A.L., Simmons, T.W., Earle, J.I. (2003). Parasitic water mite larvae (Acari: Stygothrombidiidae) associated with stonefly adults (Insecta: Plecoptera) from an Allegheny mountain stream. Pages 323-330. In, Smith, I.M. (Editor)An acarological tribute to David R. Cook: From Yankee Springs to Wheeny Creek. Indira Publishing House, West Bloomfield, MI. 331 pp.

Adams, W., Davis, T., Rossignol, A., Silverman, G., Simmons, T., Smith, G., Stern, B. (2001). Undergraduate environmental health education: Preparing for the future. Journal of Environmental Health, 63: 27-31.

Rousch, J.M., Simmons, T.W., Kerans, B.L., Smith, B.P. (1997). Relative acute effects of low pH and high iron on the hatching and survival of the water mite, Arrenurus manubriator and aquatic insect, Chironomus riparius. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 16: 2144-2150.

Ballatori, N., Simmons, T.W., Boyer, J.L. (1994). A volume-activated taurine channel in skate hepatocytes: Membrane polarity and role of intracellular ATP. American Journal of Physiology, 267:G285-G291.

Simmons, T.W., Anders, M.W., Ballatori, N. (1992). Transport of cysteine and S-(1,2-dichlorovinyl)-L-cysteine in rat liver canalicular membrane vesicles: Potential reabsorption mechanisms for biliary metabolites of glutathione and its S-conjugates. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 262:1182-1188.

Simmons, T.W., Hinchman, C.A., Ballatori, N. (1991). Polarity of hepatic glutathione and glutathione S-conjugate efflux, and intraorgan mercapturic acid formation in the skate. Biochemical Pharmacology, 42:2221-2228

Hinchman, C.A., Matsumoto, H., Simmons, T.W., Ballatori, N. (1991). Intrahepatic conversion of a glutathione conjugate to its mercapturic acid: metabolism of 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene in isolated perfused rat and guinea pig livers. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 266: 22179-22185

Simmons, T.W., Moseley, R.H., Boyer, J.L., Ballatori, N. (1990). Modulation of Na+-alanine cotransport in liver sinusoidal membrane vesicles by internal divalent cations. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 1023: 462-468

Simmons, T.W., Jamall, I.S., Lockshin, R.A. (1989). Selenium modulates peroxidation in the absence of glutathione peroxidase in the housefly, Musca domestica. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 165: 158-159

Simmons, T.W., Jamall, I.S., Lockshin, R.A. (1989). Selenium-independent glutathione peroxidase activity associated with glutathione S-transferase from the housefly, Musca domestica. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 94B: 323-327.

Simmons, T.W., Jamall, I.S. (1989) Relative importance of glutathione peroxidase and catalase in vivo for prevention of peroxidation to the heart. Cardiovascular Research, 23: 774-779.

Simmons, T.W., Jamall, I.S., Lockshin, R.A. (1988). Accumulation, distribution and toxicity of selenium in the adult housefly, Musca domestica. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 91C: 559-563

Simmons, T.W., Jamall, I.S. (1988). Significance of alterations in hepatic antioxidant enzymes: Primacy of glutathione peroxidase. Biochemical Journal, 251: 913-917.

Simmons, T.W., Jamall, I.S., Lockshin, R.A. (1987). The effect of selenium deficiency on peroxidative injury in the housefly, Musca domestica: A role for glutathione peroxidase. FEBS Letters, 218: 251-254.

Simmons, T.W. (1987). Description of adults of the water mite Tiphys lamina n. sp. (Prostigmata: Tiphysinae) from the Long Island pine barrens, NY, USA. International Journal of Toxicology, 13: 131-133.

Simmons, T.W. (1985). New water mite (Prostigmata: Parasitengona) - chironomid (Diptera) associations from Otsego Lake, New York. Journal of the New York Entomological Society, 93: 1275-1276.

Simmons, T.W., Smith, I.M. (1984). Morphology of larvae, deutonymphs, and adults of the water mite Najadicola ingens (Prostigmata: Parasitengona: Hygrobatoidea) with remarks on phylogenetic relationships and revision of taxonomic placement of Najadicolinae. Canadian Entomologist., 116: 691-701. 

  • Biology Department
  • Weyandt Hall, Room 114
    975 Oakland Avenue
    Indiana, PA 15705-1081
  • Phone: 724-357-2352
  • Fax: 724-357-5524
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 7:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.