Dr. Daniel A. Strickman (1953-2020), senior project officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was elected as Fellow in 2016. A medical entomologist by training, he had the pleasure of experiencing entomology from basic research to practical application.
Strickman was born in San Diego, California, in 1953. His interest in entomology began with an insect collection in eighth grade. After attending Dartmouth College from 1971–1973, he transferred to the University of California, Riverside, in order to take an entomology course, but ended up staying until graduation with a B.A. in biology in 1974. Proceeding to graduate school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he studied floodwater mosquitoes with Dr. William Horsfall, receiving his master’s degree in 1976 and his doctorate in 1978.
Dr. Strickman’s first job was in the Peace Corps serving as a professor at the National University of Asunción, Paraguay. From there he served in the U.S. Air Force as a captain and consultant entomologist at the Occupational and Environmental Health Laboratory, Brooks AFB, Texas. Transferring to the Army in 1984, he worked for the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in a series of research and administrative assignments, including work on mosquito taxonomy, scrub typhus, dengue, malaria, and repellent development, and served as chief of the Department of Entomology, and associate director.
During his 22-year military career, Dr. Strickman had three deployments, to Honduras, Korea, and the Middle East. As a colonel, he served as a consultant to the Surgeon General. He retired from the Army in 2003 and worked for three years as an entomologist at the Santa Clara County (California) Vector Control District, then eight years as national program leader and director of overseas laboratories for the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and finally to his position at the Gates Foundation in 2014.
By 2016, Strickman had published 110 peer-reviewed papers, 12 book chapters, two co-edited books on repellents, and one co-authored book on personal protection from biting and stinging arthropods. His accomplishments were team efforts, which led to characterization of larval mosquito movement; discovery of drug-tolerant scrub typhus; elimination of Aedes aegypti from a series of Thai villages and elimination of Aedes albopictus from San José, California; the lowest rate of disease in any U.S. conflict during the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom; and the formation of the Foundation for the Study of Invasive Species in Buenos Aires. He served as subject editor for the Journal of Medical Entomology from 2006 to 2010.
Strickman received the Dow AgroSciences 2014 Integrated Pest Management Team Award, a Bronze Medal in 2011 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the 2010 John N. Belkin Award from the American Mosquito Control Association, and the 2010 GreenGov Award from the Office of the President. His highest military medals were the Legion of Merit in 2005 and the Bronze Star in 2002.
Married to his wife, Linda, for over 40 years, they were the parents of three daughters and had one grandson as of 2016. Strickman passed away October 28, 2020.
(updated December 2020)