Chair and Professor, Department of Environmental Toxicology


Ph.D./M.S. Medical/Veterinary Entomology, Oklahoma State 1987

M.S. Military Studies, U.S. Marine Corps Command 1985

B.S. Animal Science, Texas Tech University 1982


Research Interests:

Zumwalt Program

Infectious Diseases/Immunitoxicology

Web Links:

Dr. Steve Presley


ENTX 6312 Biological Threats in the Environment



Dr. Presley’s research and teaching focuses upon risks and threats associated with and the potential impact of biological pathogens naturally or intentionally introduced into military and civilian populations, and the agricultural industry. The overarching goal being the development and fielding of preventative measures against vector-borne infectious and zoonotic diseases, and biological weapon agents, and the possible utilization of arthropod vector and non-vector species for prediction and forensic validation of such occurrences. Dr. Presley offers an advanced graduate level course in biological threats in the environment. Additionally, he serves as the Research Coordinator for the Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. National Program for Countermeasures to Biological and Chemical Threats at Texas Tech University. Dr. Presley earned his B.S. in Animal Science from Texas Tech University in 1982, his M.S. (1985) and Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University in 1987 studying Medical/Veterinary Entomology, then completed a post-Doctoral fellowship at the University of Kentucky. He served in the United States Navy as a Medical Service Corps Officer for more than twelve years before joining the faculty at Texas Tech University in 2002. He is a graduate of the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College, where he earned a Masters of Military Studies degree focused on domestic terrorism and has completed various aspects of chemical, biological, radiological, and environmental-related response and control training and practical experience. His operational and research experience has focused upon the surveillance, prevention and control of biological threats in the environment; specifically vector-borne infectious diseases in tropical and semi-tropical environments. He has led malaria control operations and research efforts in Africa, Asia and South America, as well as Rift Valley fever, Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever, and cutaneous leishmaniasis studies in Africa and Asia. He has published more than 35 scientific and technical manuscripts, and has made numerous professional and technical oral presentations. Dr. Presley was awarded the Rear Admiral Charles S. Stephenson Award for Excellence in Preventive Medicine for the year 2000-2001 (U.S. Navy Medical Department worldwide competitive award). Dr. Presley serves as Chairperson of the Publications Committee and on the Science and Technology Committee of the American Mosquito Control Association. Additionally, he is a member of many local, regional and state professional boards and committees related to emergency preparedness and public health response to human and animal diseases, and catastrophic events.


Selected Publications:


McNew RM, Elsey RM, Rainwater TR, Marsland EJ, Presley SM. [2007] Survey for West Nile virus in wild American Alligators, Louisiana, USA. Southeastern Naturalist [MS # S549] (In press)


Abel MT, Presley SM, Austin GP, Rainwater TR, Cox SB, McDaniel LN, Marsland EJ, Leftwich BD, Kendall RJ, Cobb GP. [2007] Spatial and temporal evaluation of metal concentrations in soils and sediments from New Orleans, LA following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry [Vol.26, Oct 07] (In press)


Cobb GP, Abel MT, Rainwater TR, Austin GP, Cox SB, Kendall RJ, Marsland EJ, Anderson TA, Leftwich BD, Zak JC, Presley SM. 2006. Metal distributions in New Orleans following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: A continuation study. Environmental Science & Technology 40(15):4571-4577.


Presley SM, Rainwater TR, Austin GP, Platt SG, Zak JC, Cobb GP, Marsland EJ, Tian K, Zhang BH, Anderson TA, Cox SB, Abel MT, Leftwich BD, Huddleston JR, Jeter RM, Kendall RJ. 2006. Assessment of pathogens and toxicants in New Orleans, LA following Hurricane Katrina. Environmental Science & Technology 40(2):468-474


Nascarella MA, Bradford CM, Burns TH, Marsland EJ, Pepper CM, Presley SM. 2005. Ectoparasite fleas of cottontail rabbits and black-tailed prairie dogs inhabiting the high plains of West Texas. Southwestern Entomologist 30(4):239-243.


Nascarella MA, Presley SM. 2005. Formation of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis biofilms on multiple surfaces on Caenorhabditis elegans. World Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology 21(3):229-231.


Bradford CM, Nascarella MA, Burns TH, Montford JR, Marsland EJ, Pepper CB, Presley SM. 2005. First report of West Nile virus in mosquitoes from Lubbock County, Texas. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 21(1):102-105.


Pepper CB, Nascarella MA, Marsland EJ, Montford JT, Wood L, Cox SB, Bradford CM, Burns TH, and Presley SM. 2004. Threatened or endangered? Keystone species or public health threat? The black-tailed prairie dog, the Endangered Species Act, and the imminent threat of bubonic plague. Journal of Land, Resources, & Environmental Law 24:355-391.


Brown JR, McAuliffe DD, Smith KT, Beavers GM, Presley SM. 2003. A constant flow valve for hand-compression hydraulic sprayers. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 19(1):91-93.


Brown JR, Williams DC, Gwinn TA, Presley SM, Beavers GM. 2002. Indoor low volume spray trials: Handheld equipment evaluation. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 18(3):232-235.


Turell MJ, Morrill JC, Rossi CA, Gad AM, Cope SE, Clements TL, Arthur RE, Wasieloski LP, Dohm DJ, Nash D, Presley SM. 2002. Isolation of West Nile and Sindbis viruses from mosquitoes collected in the Nile Valley of Egypt during an outbreak of Rift Valley fever. Journal of Medical Entomology 39(1):248-250.


The Department of Environmental Toxicology (ENTX) is the academic home for the core faculty of The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) and the Institute for Forensic Science (IFS) at Texas Tech University. TIEHH and IFS provide faculty and graduate students opportunities for multidisciplinary research and scholarly engagement related to environmental, forensic and human health sciences.


Office of the

Vice President

of Research

 © The Department of Environmental Toxicology (ENTX)  - All Rights Reserved

1207 Gilbert Drive • Box 41163   •   Lubbock, Texas   •   Tel: 806-742-4567   •   Fax: 806-885-2132

Requst IT Assistance