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Jerome Goddard joins MSU as entomologist
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi scientist and author widely recognized for advancing the study of how insects, spiders, ticks and mites impact human health has joined the faculty of Mississippi State University as associate Extension professor.
Jerome Goddard, who assumed his duties Oct. 16, comes to MSU’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology after serving as state medical entomologist with the Mississippi Department of Health in Jackson for 20 years. He also held appointments as clinical assistant professor of preventive medicine and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine.
“Extension is a natural fit for me since I am a people person,” Goddard said. “I love to speak, write and answer questions from the public.”
Goddard earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biological science from the University of Mississippi and a doctorate in medical entomology from MSU. Goddard also served as a medical entomologist in the Epidemiology Division of the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base in Texas.
As state medical entomologist, Goddard designed, implemented and supervised vector control programs relating to public health throughout Mississippi. In his new role at MSU, he will be responsible for simplifying complex medical and veterinary entomology research into useful information for the public.
Goddard also will serve as an expert in the identification of medical and veterinary pests and work with the public to solve problems these pests can cause.
“Dr. Goddard has distinguished himself as an outstanding medical entomologist and author,” said Clarence Collison, head of the MSU Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. “We are fortunate that this outstanding teacher and researcher decided to join our department.”
Goddard has written more than 160 scientific articles on medical entomology and six books on the subject. His textbook, “The Physician’s Guide to Arthropods of Medical Importance,” placed second in the medicine category of the 2004 Best Medical Book of the Year competition sponsored by the British Medical Association. Now in its fifth edition, the book is considered one of the top medical entomology texts in the world.
Reader’s Digest and The Learning Channel recently featured Goddard’s work with insects and arthropods. In 2001, he published his first novel about a mosquito-borne outbreak, “The Well of Destiny,” and followed that up with a second in 2007 titled “Vital Forces.”
Goddard frequently appears nationally and abroad as a featured lecturer on insects, arthropods and human health. He recently returned from Great Britain, where he was the keynote speaker at an environmental health conference.
“My goal is to be a good public servant and a professor who keeps abreast of the latest scientific findings,” he said. “I also want to help people solve problems not only because it’s fun, but it’s sometimes like detective work.”
Goddard is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Mississippi Mosquito and Vector Control Association, and the Mississippi Entomological Association. His main research interests are the ecology and epidemiology of tick-borne diseases.
Writer: Patti Drapala