John R. Anderson, ESA Fellow (2003)

Dr. John R. Anderson, a professor of entomology at University of California, Berkeley (UCB), was elected as Fellow in 2003.  He is internationally recognized for his research on the host-finding, feeding behavior, and parasite transmission by hematophagous Diptera species and for studies of the biology of oestrids and other fly parasites of deer, moose, and caribou/reindeer.

Anderson was born in Fargo, ND in 1931, and lived in Lake Park, MN until serving in the U.S. Navy from 1950–1954.  He received his B.S. degree from Utah State University in 1957, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1958 and 1960, respectively. He spent his career at UCB where he also served as the Associate Dean for Research, College of Natural Resources (1979–1985). While at UCB Anderson taught medical/veterinary entomology, supervised parasitology seminars, and co-taught a pest management course.  He served as the thesis advisor for 17 students completing their Ph.D. degrees and 3 completing M.S. degrees.  Anderson published some 200 scientific papers and presented many invited lectures and seminars at U.S. and foreign universities.  He also gave symposium presentations at national and international meetings and congresses.

Anderson’s studies using carbon dioxide and other attractants with traps and animal models revealed that they functioned as realistic mimics to monitor daily and seasonal attack rates; and gametogenic, physiologic, and parity states of hematophagous flies and several bot flies. His research resulted in discovery of the vectors of such wildlife parasites as malaria of ducks, filaraiasis of deer and quail, eyeworms of deer and hares, and trypanosomiasis of toads.  Anderson’s 1950’s studies using visible and camouflaged hosts showed the importance of vision in host finding by ornithophilic simuliids and his original use of the lactation gradient in dairy cattle showed that even brief attacks by blood feeding simuliids caused long-term reductions of milk production.  His discovery that certain oestrid flies could be caught in carbon dioxide and scent-baited traps resulted in capturing large numbers of these otherwise rarely caught flies for use in laboratory studies.  Examination of infested animals and experiments with larvae obtained from the larviparous females revealed such newly-discovered life cycle features as per os invasion of the deer host and an obligate period of development in the lungs.

Among his many ESA activities Anderson served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Medical Entomology, Journal of Economic Entomology, and the Thomas Say Foundation.  He also held all officer positions in Section D, and served a term on the Governing Board. He is a Fellow of the AAAS and the Royal Entomological Society (London).  In 1988 he received the ESA Pacific Branch C. W. Woodworth Award for distinguished achievement in entomology and in 1993 he received the Berkeley Citation for distinguished service to UCB.  Anderson married the girl across the street (Shereen) in 1955 and they raised a daughter and two sons. In retirement he spends winters cross- country skiing and the rest of the seasons mostly fly fishing. 

(updated July, 2012)