My main research interest is the insect family Ceratopogonidae (Diptera), commonly known as biting midges, punkies, or no-see-ums. These small flies are diverse in terms of species, behavior, and ecology. Much work is needed on this family as we currently know little of adult hosts and the larvae for most species have not been described. Much of the current classification is in need of revision as many groups are probably polyphyletic or paraphyletic. My dissertation research is focused on the larval ecology of the genus Culicoides, the major pest genus in the family. I am assessing what ecological variables determine the distribution of larvae in aquatic habitats. This requires molecular association of the larvae with the adults because no comprehensive identification key exists for all Culicoides and in all larval instars. The data collected from the molecular associations will be used to infer a phylogeny to assess if there are phylogenetic patterns of habitat use. Other areas of interests include systematics, ecology, and host associations for other genera of Ceratopogonidae and families of hematophagous Diptera, as well as medical-veterinary entomology in general.
B.S. (2005) Combined Biology and Chemistry. Illinois College, Jacksonville, IL
M.S. (2007) Entomology. Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Ph.D. (Expected May 2011). Entomology. Clemson University, Clemson, SC
SWANSON, D.A. and W.L. Grogan, Jr. 2008. New records of Ceratopogonidae (Diptera) from South Carolina. Entomological News: 411-414.
Nelder, M.P., D.A. Swanson, P.H. Adler, and W.L. Grogan, Jr. 2010. Biting midges of the genus Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in South Carolina zoos. Journal of Insect Science 10: 1-9.
SWANSON, D.A. and P.H. Adler. 2010 Vertical distribution of hematophagous Diptera in temperate forests of the southeastern USA. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 24: 182-188.
SWANSON, D.A. and W.L. Grogan, Jr. In review. A newly predaceous midge in the genus Brachypogon (B.) from Alabama and Florida, USA and new distribution records for B. woodruffi Spinelli and Grogan (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington.
SWANSON, D.A., P.H. Adler, and B. Malmqvist. In review. Spatial stratification of host-seeking Diptera in boreal forests of northern Europe. Medical and Veterinary Entomology.