John Marshall Clark

John Marshall Clark, Ph.D.

Professor of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

Director of Research, Massachusetts Pesticide Analysis Laboratory

he, him, his


N311A Morrill I

Office phone: 




Ph.D.: Michigan State University, 1981
Postdoctoral Training: Marine Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA

Lilly Teaching Fellow, 1990-1991

Curriculum Vitae - John M. Clark, PhD


ANIMLSCI 697i - JC - Toxicology

ENVSCI 191,194, 315, 535, 585, 592








Research Interests

Environmental Toxicology

Extent, detection and management of the human head louse, Pediculus capitis, resistant to pediculicides. An automated artificial membrane/blood feeding system allows the maintenance of human head louse populations without human or animal hosts. We currently are carrying out the first population genetic analysis of resistance in head lice and basic biochemistry and molecular analysis of the mechanisms of resistance (see figure below). We have identified both oxidative, hydrolytic and target site insensitivity (knockdown resistance, kdr) resistance mechanisms and are developing DNA-based diagnostics for their detection for resistance management.


A. Head louse eggs and exuviae attached to human hair tuft. An adult female lice started to lay eggs 16 hr after being placed on the artificial membrane feeding system. First instars molted into second instars at 48 hr. and molted into third instars 96 hr after being placed on the artificial membrane feeding system.

B. Feeding activity of head louse (2nd instar) via the artificial membrane feeding system.

Age-grading Aedes aegypti, the vector of dengue virus. In collaboration with Drs. T. Scott and J. Edman (UC-Davis), we have begun the study of the aging process of adult female mosquitoes that vector dengue virus and in particular how the vector capacity of the female changes over time. To date, we have developed an age-grading model based on cuticular hydrocarbons that ages Aegypti females to 15 days or older with 70% accuracy. Although this method is a significant step forward, we have begun to examine additional biochemical and molecular processes implicated in the aging process, including various proteomic approaches.

Action of pyrethroids on voltage-sensitive calcium channels from rat brain. CS-syndrome pyrethroid insecticides evoke a massive release of neurotransmitter during intoxication. A synaptosomal preparation from presynaptic nerve terminals allows the monitoring of neurotransmitter release, calcium uptake and membrane depolarization, simultaneously, and the examination of the agonistic/antagonistic aspects of mixtures of similarly acting pesticides. CS-syndrome pyrethroids have been determined to be potent and stereospecific agonists of N-type calcium channels, an action that is consistent with the choreoathetosis writhing syndrome of poisoning.

Environmental Chemistry

Minimizing recreational exposures to turf pesticides. The potential for significant exposure to pesticides via turf is enormous if one considers the amount of pesticide used and the area treated when including lawns, golf courses, parks, athletic fields, etc. We have detailed these exposure situations via dislodgeable foliar residues as estimates for dermal exposure and volatile residues as estimates for inhalation exposure to design mitigation strategies. Recently, we have begun extensive dosimetry and biomonitoring studies to determine actual human exposure levels during a round of golf. This information will be critical in the evaluations of the actual "risk cup" input associated with turf pesticides.

Developmental effects of contaminants on salinity preference and seawater survival of Atlantic salmon: Integrating physiology and behavior. In collaboration with the Department of Natural Resource Conservation (UMASS-Amherst) and the US Fisheries and Wildlife Department, we are assessing the estrogenic effects of nonylphenol and PCBs, which are common contaminants in rivers due to sewage treatment plants, industrial sites and storage sites, on the osmoregulatory response during parr-smolt transformation of Atlantic salmon. We will carry out a tissue-specific analysis of these compounds to see if levels in the hypothalamus and thyroid correlate to specific hormonally controlled behaviors and changes in specific enzyme levels of these tissues.

Lab Personnel

Name Email Phone Office
Bermingham, Danielle
Undergraduate Student
dbermingham [at] 4135451038 N429 Morrill I
Jankowski, Izaak
Undergraduate Student
ijankowski [at] 413-545-1038 N429 Morrill I
Lee, Junghak
Postdoctoral Research Associate
junghaklee [at] 413-545-1038 Morrill I N429
McDonald, Rose
Undergraduate Student
rmmcdonald [at] 413-545-1038 N429 Morrill I
Roy, Anish
Undergraduate Student
agroy [at] 413-545-1038 N429 Morrill I
Safie, Saida
Departmental Assistant
saida [at] 413-545-4626 N423 Morrill I


Clark, J. M. (2022). New chemistries for the control of human head lice, Pediculus humanus capitis: A mini-review. Pestic Biochem Physiol, 181, 105013. presented at the 2022 Feb. doi:10.1016/j.pestbp.2021.105013
Xiao, X., Sun, Q., Kim, Y., Yang, S. - H., Qi, W., Kim, D., et al.. (2018). Exposure to permethrin promotes high fat diet-induced weight gain and insulin resistance in male C57BL/6J mice. Food Chem Toxicol, 111, 405-416. presented at the 2018 Jan. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2017.11.047
Yang, T., Doherty, J., Zhao, B., Kinchla, A. J., Clark, J. M., & He, L.. (2017). Effectiveness of Commercial and Homemade Washing Agents in Removing Pesticide Residues on and in Apples. J Agric Food Chem, 65(44), 9744-9752. presented at the 2017 Nov 08. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.7b03118
Xiao, X., Qi, W., Clark, J. M., & Park, Y.. (2017). Permethrin potentiates adipogenesis via intracellular calcium and endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated mechanisms in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Food Chem Toxicol, 109(Pt 1), 123-129. presented at the 2017 Nov. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2017.08.049
Xiao, X., Clark, J. M., & Park, Y.. (2017). Potential contribution of insecticide exposure and development of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Food Chem Toxicol, 105, 456-474. presented at the 2017 Jul. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2017.05.003
Shen, P., Hsieh, T. - H., Yue, Y., Sun, Q., Clark, J. M., & Park, Y.. (2017). Deltamethrin increases the fat accumulation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and Caenorhabditis elegans. Food Chem Toxicol, 101, 149-156. presented at the 2017 Mar. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2017.01.015
Hou, R., Zhang, Z., Pang, S., Yang, T., Clark, J. M., & He, L.. (2016). Alteration of the Nonsystemic Behavior of the Pesticide Ferbam on Tea Leaves by Engineered Gold Nanoparticles. Environ Sci Technol, 50(12), 6216-23. presented at the 2016 06 21. doi:10.1021/acs.est.6b01336
Sun, Q., Xiao, X., Kim, Y., Kim, D., Yoon, K. Sup, Clark, J. M., & Park, Y.. (2016). Imidacloprid Promotes High Fat Diet-Induced Adiposity and Insulin Resistance in Male C57BL/6J Mice. J Agric Food Chem, 64(49), 9293-9306. presented at the 2016 Dec 14. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.6b04322
Koch, E., Clark, J. Marshall, Cohen, B., Meinking, T. L., Ryan, W. G., Stevenson, A., et al.. (2016). Management of Head Louse Infestations in the United States-A Literature Review. Pediatr Dermatol, 33(5), 466-72. presented at the 2016 Sep. doi:10.1111/pde.12982
Pelletier, J., Xu, P., Yoon, K. S., Clark, J. M., & Leal, W. S.. (2015). Odorant receptor-based discovery of natural repellents of human lice. Insect Biochem Mol Biol, 66, 103-9. presented at the 2015 Nov. doi:10.1016/j.ibmb.2015.10.009
Tovar-Corona, J. M., Castillo-Morales, A., Chen, L., Olds, B. P., Clark, J. M., Reynolds, S. E., et al.. (2015). Alternative Splice in Alternative Lice. Mol Biol Evol, 32(10), 2749-59. presented at the 2015 Oct. doi:10.1093/molbev/msv151
J Clark, M., Yoon, K. Sup, Kim, J. Hyeon, Lee, S. Hyeock, & Pittendrigh, B. R.. (2015). Utilization of the human louse genome to study insecticide resistance and innate immune response. Pestic Biochem Physiol, 120, 125-32. presented at the 2015 May. doi:10.1016/j.pestbp.2014.11.008
J Clark, M., & Symington, S. B.. (2012). Advances in the mode of action of pyrethroids. Topics in current chemistry, 314, 49-72. presented at the 2012.
Gammon, D. W., Leggett, M. F., & Clark, J. M.. (2011). Pyrethroid mode(s) of action in the context of Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) regulation. J Agric Food Chem, 59(7), 2773-85. presented at the 2011 Apr 13. doi:10.1021/jf103901k
Kirkness, E. F., Haas, B. J., Sun, W., Braig, H. R., M Perotti, A., Clark, J. M., et al.. (2010). Genome sequences of the human body louse and its primary endosymbiont provide insights into the permanent parasitic lifestyle. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(27), 12168-73. presented at the 2010 Jul 6.
Putnam, R. A., Doherty, J. J., & J Clark, M.. (2008). Golfer exposure to chlorpyrifos and carbaryl following application to turfgrass. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 56(15), 6616-22. presented at the 2008 Aug 13.
J Clark, M., & Symington, S. B.. (2007). Pyrethroid action on calcium channels: neurotoxicological implications. Invertebrate neuroscience : IN, 7(1), 3-16. presented at the 2007 Mar.
Qiu, L., Gao, J. - R., & J Clark, M.. (2005). Sequencing and characterization of a cDNA encoding a ferritin subunit of Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata. Archives of insect biochemistry and physiology, 60(3), 140-50. presented at the 2005 Nov.
Putnam, R. A., Nelson, J. O., & J Clark, M.. (2003). The persistence and degradation of chlorothalonil and chlorpyrifos in a cranberry bog. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 51(1), 170-6. presented at the 2003 Jan 1.
Tessier, D. M., & Clark, J. M.. (1999). Hapten design in the development of competitive enyme-linked immunosorbent assays for genotoxic metabolites of alachlor. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 47(9), 3925-33. presented at the 1999 Sep.
Martin, P. J., Clark, J. M., & Edman, J. D.. (1995). Preliminary study of synergism of acid rain and diflubenzuron. Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology, 54(6), 833-6. presented at the 1995 Jun.
Zhu, K. Y., & Clark, J. M.. (1995). Cloning and sequencing of a cDNA encoding acetylcholinesterase in Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say). Insect biochemistry and molecular biology, 25(10), 1129-38. presented at the 1995 Dec.
Clark, J. M., Marion, J. R., Tessier, D. M., Brooks, M. W., & Coli, W. M.. (1991). Airborne drift residues collected near apple orchard environments due to application of insecticide mixtures. Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology, 46(6), 829-36. presented at the 1991 Jun.