John D. Edman, ESA Fellow (1994)

Dr. John D. Edman, retired in 2004 as Director of the Center for Vector-borne Diseases at the University of California at Davis (UCD), was elected as Fellow in 1994. He is internationally known for his work in ecology and behavior of mosquito vectors and transmission of malaria, filaria, and arboviruses, including dengue, West Nile, St. Louis encephalitis and Eastern equine encephalitis.

Edman grew up near Willmar, MN and attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, majoring in biology.  He completed his M.S. in 1961 at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and his Ph.D. in 1964 in medical entomology and parasitology at Kansas State University (KSU), Manhattan. He held postdocs in serology at Imperial College Field Station in England, immunology at University of California, Berkeley, and arbovirology at the Queensland Medical Research Institute in Brisbane. His 40-year career in teaching, research, and administration spanned the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, Vero Beach (1964–1975); the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (UMA; 1975–1999), where he chaired the Entomology Department for seven years; and UCD (1999–2004). 

Edman is recognized for his innovative research on the defensive behavior of vertebrate hosts in response to attack by mosquitoes; on interrupted and multiple blood-feeding behaviors in mosquitoes; and the demonstration of a shift in feeding patterns by certain Culex vectors from avian hosts that amplify the virus, to significant feeding on mammals, including humans, near the end of the arbovirus transmission season. His laboratory was the first to rear Simulium blackfly colonies, and develop a system for maintaining colonies of head and body lice without a live host. He trained 25 doctoral and masters students and several postdoctoral trainees while at UMA, many of whom hold academic appointments and government positions in the U.S. and abroad. Edman authored nearly 200 research publications, reviews and book chapters, and co-edited with Bruce Eldridge the widely used text, Medical Entomology - A Textbook on Public Health and Veterinary Problems Caused by Arthropods.

Edman has been a member of ESA for over 50 years and received the L.O. Howard Award and the Outstanding Teacher Award from the ESA's Eastern Branch. He was secretary, vice chair and chair of Section D (Medical & Veterinary Entomology) and represented them on the ESA Governing Board. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society. Edman served as vice president and president of the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) and received its Medal of Honor. He presented AMCA Memorial Lectures honoring Professors Brian Hocking (University of Alberta) and Andrew Spielman (Harvard University). He also served as president of the Society for Vector Ecology and received their Distinguished Achievement award. Long active in the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, he was honored with their prestigious Hoogstraal Medal in 2004. Edman has been invited to speak across the U.S., including the Outstanding Alumnus lecture at KSU, and abroad, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Kenya, Thailand, and The Netherlands.

Edman now resides at Sun City Hilton Head in South Carolina.

(updated February, 2015)