- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
His appointment was announced this week by Helene Dillard, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter.
Nadler chaired the Department of Nematology for six years, until the two departments merged in 2011. He succeeds Michael Parrella, who has accepted a position as the dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Idaho, effective Feb. 1, 2016.
“Steve is an exceptionally strong researcher and teacher and has considerable administrative experience,” said Parrella, who served as chair from 1991-1999 and from 2009-2015. “I am confident he will continue to move the nationally ranked Department of Entomology and Nematology forward. It is good to know that I am leaving the department in very good hands.”
“I am pleased to have this opportunity to lead the Department of Entomology and Nematology,” Nadler said. “The department has remarkable faculty, and I look forward to working with them and our dedicated staff and students to advance our research, teaching and extension goals.”
The Department of Entomology and Nematology was recently ranked as the top program of its kind in the United States and has an annual budget of almost $20 million. The department has 21 ladder-rank faculty, 40 graduate students, an undergraduate major with 40 students and oversees the undergraduate animal biology major with more than 300 students.
Nadler joined the UC Davis faculty in 1996 as an associate professor and associate nematologist, advancing to professor in 2001. He was named chair of the Department of Nematology in May 2005 and held that leadership position until June 2011.
Nadler researches the molecular evolutionary biology of free-living and parasitic nematodes and teaches undergraduate classes in parasitology and nematology, and a graduate class in molecular phylogenetic analysis.In 2013 he was awarded the Henry Baldwin Ward Medal by the American Society of Parasitologists; this is the society's highest research honor. His research program is well funded by the National Science Foundation. He is a co-author (with L. S. Roberts and J. Janovy, Jr.) of Foundations of Parasitology (9th edition, McGraw Hill), globally the most widely used undergraduate parasitology textbook.
“Much of my recent evolutionary research,” Nadler said, “has focused on nematodes of the suborder Cephalobina, a group that includes numerous bacterial-feeding species in soil, but also some parasitic taxa hosted by invertebrates. My current NSF research is designed to discover and characterize nematode biodiversity in soil by applying high-throughput sequencing of individual nematodes and metagenetics.”
A native of St. Louis, Mo., Nadler received his bachelor of science degree, cum laude, in biology in 1980 from Missouri State University, Springfield. He holds a master's degree (1982) and a doctorate (1985) in medical parasitology from Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans.
He did postdoctoral research from 1985 to 1986 as a National Institutes of Health research trainee in the Experimental Parasitology Training Program, Center for Parasitology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, followed by two years as a National Science Foundation postdoctoral research associate at Louisiana State University's Museum of Natural Science, Baton Rouge.
Nadler joined the biological sciences faculty at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, as an assistant professor in 1990. He was promoted to associate professor in 1995.
Active in the American Society of Parasitologists (ASP), Nadler served as the organization's president from 2007 to 2008. He is an associate editor of Systematic Parasitology; subject editor of Zookeys (molecular systematics and phylogeny); and a member of the editorial board of Parasitology (British).