Dr. Thomas Simmons

  • Contact Information Tom Simmons and Norm in the lab
    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


    Disease Vector Ecology


    BIOL 119 Emerging Diseases

    BIOL 221 Environmental Health and Protection

    BIOL 301/501 Fundamentals of Epidemiology

    BIOL 310 Applied Entomology and Zoonoses 

    BIOL 456/556 Ecological Toxicology      

    BIOL 476/576 Parasitology

    InterestsTicks next to a dime

    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.

    Simmons and Anna Manges in the LabWe 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.,  chikungunya, dengue, West Nile, Zika and eastern equine encephalitis viruses).


    Shea Simmons Tick Dragging Cropped

    Simmons, T.W., Welch, E.N., Manges, A.B., Peters, N.A., Duchamp, J.E. 2021. Relative efficiency of drag fabrics for collection of blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) larvae, nymphs, and adults. Journal of Medical Entomology. doi:10.1093/jme/tjab002

    Simmons, A.E., Manges, A.B., Bharathan, T., Tepe, S.L., McBride, S.E., DiLeonardo, M.Q., Duchamp, J.E., Simmons, T.W. 2020. Lyme disease risk of exposure to blacklegged ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) infected with Borrelia burgdorferi (Spirochaetales: Spirochaetaceae) in Pittsburgh regional parks. Journal of Medical Entomology 57: 273-280 doi:10.1093/jme/tjz140

    Manges, A.B., Simmons, T.W., Hutchinson. M.L. (2018). First record of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) and second record of Aedes japonicus (Diptera: Culicidae) parasitized by water mites (Acari: Hydrachnidiae) in North America. Journal of Medical Entomology 55: 1617-1621. doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjy105

    Simmons, 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 53: 737-752.

    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.

    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.

    Water Mite Mosquito Parasitism

    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.

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

    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.

    Dr. Simmons with students in labYasick, 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.

    Simmons Ferry Mosquito TrapBallatori, 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 Acarology 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.