The field of Medical Entomology has lost a valued entomologist, contributor, colleague, and friend. I have personally lost a close friend with whom I have spent years with discussing pressing challenges in mosquito biology and control. I first met Dan when we both were graduate students with Professor William R. Horsfall at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dan earned his MS in 1976 and Ph.D. in 1978. We both worked on floodwater mosquitoes. Dan and I used to jokingly argue about who processed more dirt from Allerton Park on the Sangamon River floodplain looking for eggs and oviposition sites. We both learned operational mosquito control as entomologists for the Macon Mosquito Abatement District in Decatur, IL. Dan was a quiet man with a unique sense of humor coupled with an outstanding logic for problem solving. He was naturally inquisitive and definitely not dogmatic. He was open and loved to discuss well thought out mosquito and vector control challenges, especially when based on data, observation, or documented information.
Dr. Strickman was interested in insects and arthropods at an early age and began his pursuit towards his future professional career as a biologist/entomologist at Dartmouth College and received his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of California-Riverside in 1974.
During his career, Dr. Strickman worked in a broad scope of professional responsibilities including medical entomology, operational pest and vector control, research, and management. His career spanned areas from a field researcher to administrative positions in the US military as Chief of Department of Entomology at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and the US Department of Agriculture where he held the position of National Program Leader for Veterinary Medical and Urban Entomology and the Acting Director of Overseas Biological Control Laboratories. Although his dominant research focused on mosquitoes, he also worked and contributed knowledge from his studies of tabanids, chiggers, and rodents. His expertise on the parasites and insect vectors causing rickettsia, malaria, and dengue were also key areas and research challenges that intrigued him. His contributions made a significant impact to our knowledge of these vectors regarding both their biology and control. He authored 115 peer-reviewed articles, 16 book chapters, and four books. During his career, an example of his valued expertise is illustrated in the breadth of positions he held, beginning with the US State Department (Peace Corps), the US military (22 years in the Air Force and Army), mosquito abatement (Santa Clara County, CA), the US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (National Program Leader for Veterinary, Medical, and Urban Entomology and Director of Overseas Laboratories), and finally the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Senior Program Officer, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases). Even in retirement Dan drove to his entomological roots by volunteering his expertise to the Burke Museum of Natural History at the University of Washington, working to curate and examine the museum's collection of fossil insects.
During his career, he spent 10 years in countries outside of the USA, including in Latin America, Southwest Asia, East Asia, and Europe. His awards reflect his quality and contributions, including the US military's Legion of Merit and Bronze Star, the US EPA Bronze Medal, the Presidential GreenGov award, the American Mosquito Control Association's John Belkin Award, and the Society for Vector Ecology's Lifetime Achievement Award. Dan was instrumental in supporting the Society of Vector Ecology's annual student competition as our Gates Foundation representative. Dan served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association for 13 years.
His most recent book is Mosquitoes of the World, to appear in print in 2020 (D. Strickman, R.C. Wilkerson, and Y.-M. Linton, Johns Hopkins University Press). This final work by Dan will be published posthumously. A tribute for a true medical entomologist, a vector control specialist and biologist. He will be missed by many. We have lost a dedicated scholar, colleague, and friend of the American Mosquito Control Association.