Scott C. Williams

Portrait of Scott C. Williams

Department of Environmental Science and Forestry
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
123 Huntington Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Voice: (203) 974-8609 Fax: (203) 974-8502

Scott’s field of expertise is wildlife biology. He has been working specifically with overabundant white-tailed deer herds and their impact on native and managed ecosystems, orchards, gardens, and landscape plantings. He is also knowledgeable about other Connecticut wildlife including songbirds and other migratory birds, game birds, small and medium sized mammals, and fish.

Ph. D.--The University of Connecticut (Natural Resources) 2008
M. E. S.--Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (Environmental Studies) 2000
B. A.--Connecticut College (Environmental Studies) 1997
CWB--Certified Wildlife Biologist®, The Wildlife Society 2010


Station Career:
Agricultural Scientist 2019-present
Associate Agricultural Scientist 2014-2019
Assistant Agricultural Scientist II 2008-2014
Research Technician I 2003-2008
Research Assistant III 2001-2003
Research Assistant II 2000-2001


Non-Station Career:

Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology and Environmental Science, University of New Haven, West Haven, CT, August 2013-present.

Adjunct Professor, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT September 2011-present

Past Research:
Ph. D. research included the use of global positioning system devices to monitor differences in behavior, habitat usage, and home range plasticity of deer subjected to different methods of lethal removal on a private estate in New Jersey. Earlier Station research included assisting with the development of a novel, non-lethal sterilization procedure for male white-tailed deer. Also evaluation of white-tailed deer as seed dispersal agents, cost assessment and accuracy of different methods of deer population estimation, deer damage abatement, impacts of deer herbivory on forested ecosystems, and deer capture work (see photo above) for range assessment, usage of suburban environments, dispersal rates, tick and mosquito borne disease monitoring, and genetic analysis of animals within the herd. The use of repellents in deterring damage from the impacts of deer and eastern cottontail herbivory were also evaluated. Also, collaborative research involving Japanese barberry control strategies led to the eventual discovery of a positive relationship between barberry infestations, blacklegged or “deer” ticks, and the Lyme disease-causing spirochete. It was found that the growth form of barberry retains humidity throughout the day providing an ideal microclimate for tick survival reproduction and that controlling barberry creates a more hostile environment for ticks.


Current Research:
Current Station research includes the role of overabundant deer in shaping native ecosystems, specifically the connection between forest and public health. Additionally, current research includes collaborative integrated tick management investigations of the most effective and least toxic combinations of treatments to successfully reduce blacklegged tick abundances and associated disease risk in residential areas.


Selected publications available from the author,

Integrated Tick and Pathogen Management 

  • Stafford III, K. C., S. C. Williams, J. G. van Oosterwijk, M. A. Linske, S. Zatechka, L. M. Richer, G. Molaei, C. Przybyszewski, and S. K. Wikel. (2020). Field evaluation of a novel oral reservoir-targeted vaccine against Borrelia burgdorferi utilizing an inactivated whole-cell bacterial antigen expression vehicle. Experimental and Applied Acarology 80: 257-268.
  • Williams, S. C., J. G. van Oosterwijk, M. A. Linske, S. Zatechka, L. M. Richer, C. Przybyszewski, S. K. Wikel, and K. C. Stafford III. (2020). Administration of an orally delivered substrate targeting a mammalian zoonotic pathogen reservoir population: Novel application and biomarker analysis. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. In Press.
  • Little, E. A. H., S. C. Williams, K. C. Stafford III, M. A. Linske, and G. Molaei. (2019). Evaluating the effectiveness of an integrated tick management approach on multiple pathogen infection in Ixodes scapularis questing nymphs and larvae parasitizing white-footed mice. Experimental and Applied Acarology 80: 127-136.
  • Williams, S. C., E. A. H. Little, K. C. Stafford III, G. Molaei, and M. A. Linske. (2018). Integrated control of juvenile Ixodes scapularis parasitizing Peromyscus leucopus in residential southwestern Connecticut. Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases 9: 1310-1316.
  • Williams, S. C., K. C. Stafford, III, G. Molaei, and M. A. Linske. (2018). Integrated control of nymphal Ixodes scapularis: Effectiveness of white-tailed deer reduction, the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, and fipronil-based rodent bait boxes. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 18: 55-64.
  • Stafford III, K. C., and S. C. Williams. (2017). Deer-targeted methods: A review of the use of topical acaricides for the control of ticks on white-tailed deer. Journal of Integrated Pest Management 8: 1-5.
  • Stafford, K. C. III, S. C. Williams, and G. Molaei. (2017). Integrated pest management in controlling ticks and tick-associated diseases. Journal of Integrated Pest Management 8(1): 28; 1-7.


Tick Overwintering Survival and Range Expansion

  • Linske, M. A., S. C. Williams, K. C. Stafford III, C. B. Lubelczyk, E. F. Henderson, M. Welch, and P. D. Teel. (2020). Determining effects of winter weather conditions on adult Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae) survival in Connecticut and Maine, USA. Insects 11(1): 13.


  • Linske M. A., K. C. Stafford III, S. C. Williams, C. B. Lubelczyk, M. Welch, and E. F. Henderson. (2019). Impacts of deciduous leaf litter and snow presence on nymphal Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) overwintering survival in coastal New England, USA. Insects 10(8): 227.


  • Molaei, G. M., E. A. H. Little, S. C. Williams, and K. C. Stafford III. (2019). Bracing for the worst: Will range expansion of the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, alter the tick-borne disease landscape in the northeastern United States? New England Journal of Medicine 381: 2189-2192.

Tick-Borne Pathogen and Disease Screening and Ecology

  • Linske, M. A., S. C. Williams, K. C. Stafford III, and Isaac M. Ortega. (2018). Ixodes scapularis reservoir host diversity and abundance impacts on dilution of Borrelia burgdorferi in residential and woodland habitats in Connecticut, USA. Journal of Medical Entomology 55: 681-690.


  • Thekkiniath J., S. Mootien, L. Lawres, B. Perrin, M. Gewirtz, P. Krause, S. Williams, J. Doggett, M. Ledizet, and C. Ben Mamoun. (2018). BmGPAC: an antigen capture assay for detection of active Babesia microti infection. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 56(10), pp.e00067-18.


  • Cornillot, E., A. Dassouli, N. Pachikara, L. Lawres, I. Renard, C. Francois, S. Randazzo, V. Brès, A. Garg, J. Brancato, J.E. Pazzi, J. Pablo, C. Hung, A. Teng, A.D. Shandling, V. T. Huynh, P.J. Krause, T. Lepore, S. Delbecq, G. Hermanson, X. Liang, S. C. Williams, D. M. Molina, and C. Ben Mamoun. (2016). A targeted immunomic approach identifies diagnostic antigens in the human pathogen Babesia microti. Transfusion: 56: 2085-2099.


  • Stafford, K. C., III, S. C. Williams, L. A. Magnarelli, A. Bharadwaj, S. H. Eretl, and R. S. Nelson. (2014). Expansion of zoonotic babesiosis and reported human cases, Connecticut, 2001-2010. Journal of Medical Entomology 51: 245-252.


  • Magnarelli, L. A., S. C. Williams, S. J. Norris, and E. Fikrig. (2014). Serum antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia microti in recaptured white-footed mice. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 49: 294-302.


  • Magnarelli, L. A., S. C. Williams, and E. Fikrig. (2010). Seasonal prevalence of serum antibodies to whole cell and recombinant antigens of Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in white-tailed deer in Connecticut. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 46: 781-790.

White-tailed Deer Ecology and Management

  • Williams, S. C. and M. A. Gregonis. (2015). Survival and movement of rehabilitated white-tailed deer fawns in Connecticut. Wildlife Society Bulletin 39: 664-669.


  • Yan, J., Y. Chen, K. Lawrence-Apfel, I. Ortega, V. Pozdnyakov, S. C. Williams, and T. Meyer. (2014). A moving-resting process with an embedded Brownian motion for animal movements. Population Ecology 56: 401-415.


  • Williams, S. C., A. J. DeNicola, T. Almendinger, and J. Maddock. (2014). Evaluation of traditional hunting as an overabundant deer management technique in suburban landscapes. Wildlife Society Bulletin 37: 137-145.


  • DeNicola, A. J. and S. C. Williams. (2008). Sharpshooting suburban white-tailed deer reduces deer-vehicle collisions. Human-Wildlife Conflicts 2: 28-33.


  • Williams, S. C., A. J. DeNicola, and I. M. Ortega. (2008). Behavioral responses of white-tailed deer subjected to lethal management. Canadian Journal of Zoology 86: 1358-1366.


  • Williams, S. C., J. S. Ward, and U. Ramakrishnan. (2008). Endozoochory by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) across a suburban/woodland interface. Forest Ecology and Management 255: 940-947.


  • Williams, S. C. and J. S. Ward. (2006). Exotic seed dispersal by white-tailed deer in southern Connecticut. Natural Areas Journal 26: 383-390.[383:ESDBWD]2.0.CO;2.


  • Williams, S. C. and A. J. DeNicola. (2002). Home range increase of lactating female white-tailed deer following herd reduction. Northeast Wildlife 57: 29-38.


  • Williams, S. C. and A. J. DeNicola. (2000). Spatial movements in response to baiting female white-tailed deer. In: M. C. Brittingham, J. Kays, and R. McPeake, editors. Proceedings of the 9th Annual Wildlife Damage Management Conference. Penn State University, State College, PA. Pages 206-224.

Herbivory by White-tailed Deer and Eastern Cottontails

Forest and Invasive Species Management and Ecology

  • Ward, J. S. and S. C. Williams. (2018). Effect of tree diameter, canopy position, age, and browsing on stump sprouting in southern New England. Forest Science 64: 452-460.


  • Ward, J. S., S. C. Williams, and M. A. Linske. (2017). Influence of invasive shrubs and deer browsing on regeneration in temperate deciduous forests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 48(1): 58-67.


  • Ward, J. S., S. C. Williams, and T. E. Worthley. (2014). Comparing effectiveness and impacts of Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) control treatments and herbivory on plant communities. Invasive Plant Science and Management 6: 459-469.


  • Ward, J. S. and S. C. Williams. (2011). Controlling an invasive shrub, Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii DC), using directed heating with propane torches. Natural Areas Journal 31: 500-506.


  • Ward, J. S., S. C. Williams, and T. E. Worthley. (2010). Effectiveness of two-stage control strategies for Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) varies by initial clump size. Invasive Plant Science and Management 3: 60-69.


  • Ward, J. S., T. E. Worthley, and S. C. Williams. 2009. Controlling Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii DC) in southern New England. Forest Ecology and Management 257: 561-566.


Tick, Deer, and Invasive Plant Interactions

  • Linske, M. A., S. C. Williams, J. S. Ward, and K. C. Stafford III. (2018). Indirect effects of Berberis thunbergii infestations on Peromyscus leucopus exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi. Environmental Entomology 47: 795-802.


  • Ward, J. S., S. C. Williams, and M. A. Linske. (2017). Independent effects of invasive shrubs and deer herbivory on plant community dynamics. Forests 8(2): 1-18.


  • Williams, S. C., M. A. Linske, and J. S. Ward. (2017). Long-term effects of Berberis thunbergii management on Ixodes scapularis abundance and Borrelia burgdorferi prevalence in Connecticut, USA. Environmental Entomology 46: 1329-1338.


  • Williams, S. C. and J. S. Ward. (2010). Effects of Japanese barberry (Ranunculales: Berberidaceae) removal and resulting microclimatic changes on Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) abundances in Connecticut, USA. Environmental Entomology 39: 1911-1921.
  • Williams, S. C., J. W. Ward, T. E. Worthley, and K. C. Stafford, III. 2009. Managing Japanese barberry (Ranunculales: Berberidaceae) infestations reduces blacklegged tick (Acari: Ixodidae) abundance and infection prevalence with Borrelia burgdorferi (Spirochaetales: Spirochaetaceae.) Environmental Entomology 38: 977-984.