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Scott C. Williams

Portrait of Scott C. Williams

Department of Forestry and Horticulture
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
123 Huntington Street
P.O. Box 1106
New Haven, CT 06504-1106
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

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

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

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

Past Research:
Research conducted during M.E.S. program included monitoring and documentation of home range and habitat use change of an enclosed deer herd that had been subjected to significant population reduction several years previous. Research also included the manipulation and subsequent documentation of home ranges of a deer herd subjected to active baiting stations. 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.

Current Research:
Current Station research includes the role of overabundant deer in shaping native ecosystems, specifically the interaction between overabundant deer and the proliferation of invasive plant species. 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. Additionally, current research includes a collaborative study investigating the best combination of treatments to successfully reduce blacklegged tick abundances and associated disease risk in residential areas in Fairfield County, CT. The use of repellents in deterring damage from the impacts of deer and eastern cottontail herbivory are also being evaluated.

Selected publications available from the author, others are available in PDF format*.

  • 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. In Press.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. fxx023,
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Transfuion: 56: 2085-2099.
  • 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. and M. A. Gregonis. 2015. Survival and movement of rehabilitated white-tailed deer fawns in Connecticut. Wildlife Society Bulletin 39:664-669.
  • 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.
  • Ward, J. S., S. C. Williams, and T. E. Worthley. 2013. Comparing effectiveness and impacts of Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) control treatments and herbivory on plant communities. Invasive Plant Science and Management. 6:459-469.
  • Williams, S. C. and M. R. Short. 2013. Evaluation of eight repellents in deterring eastern cottontail herbivory in Connecticut. Human-Wildlife Interactions. 8:113-122.
  • Yan, J., Y. Chen, K. Lawrence-Apfel, I. Ortega, V. Pozdnyakov, S. C. Williams, and T. Meyer. 2013. A moving-resting process with an embedded Brownian motion for animal movements. Population Ecology. 56:401-415.
  • Magnarelli, L. A., S. C. Williams, S. J. Norris, and E. Fikrig. 2013. Serum antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia microti in recaptured white-footed mice. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 49:294-302.
  • Williams, S. C., A. J. DeNicola, T. Almendinger, and J. Maddock. 2013. Evaluation of traditional hunting as an overabundant deer management technique in suburban landscapes. Wildlife Society Bulletin 37:137-145.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. and S. C. Williams. 2010. Effectiveness of deer repellents in Connecticut. Human-Wildlife Interactions 4:56-66.
  • Ward, J. S., T. E. Worthley, and S. C. Williams. 2009. Controlling Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii DC) in southern New England, USA. Forest Ecology and Management 257:561-566.
  • Williams, S. C., J. S. 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.
  • DeNicola, A. J. and S. C. Williams. 2008. Sharpshooting suburban white-tailed deer reduces deer-vehicle collisions. Human-Wildlife Conflicts 2:28-33. (PDF)
  • 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. (135.40 kb, 8 pages, PDF Format) (PDF)
  • Williams, S. C., J. S. Ward, and U. Ramakrishnan. 2006. Deer damage management options. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 1005. 14 p. (PDF)
  • 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. (PDF)

MP3 Files--To listen to these files you will need a software program capable of loading these files or you can download the program for free from Microsoft Windows Media Player.

  • Radio interview about white-tailed deer research, conducted by Laurie Sanders of National Public Radio's "Field Notes" Fall 2002 (MP3 File)

  • Radio interview about white-tailed deer as seed dispersal agents, conducted by Laurie Sanders of National Public Radio's "Field Notes" December 11, 2006 (MP3 File)
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