UPR Biology

Catherine N. Duckett

Ph.D., Cornell University, 1993.

Associate Professor

Phone: (787) 764-0000 ext. 7558

E-mail: cduckett@upracd.upr.clu.edu y catherineduckett@hotmail.com

Fax: (787) 764-3875.

Field of Interest: My major interest lie in the systematics and biogeography of the flea beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), however, I am also interested in general issues of biodiversity mimicry and the evolution of morphological structures.

My current research focuses on the phylogeny and biogeography of the Oedionychina, a group which evolved either in the supercontinent of Gondwanda or posteriorly on one of the modern continents. The goals of this study are the following: (1) to conduct modern systematic analysis of the 26 genera of Oedionychina using cladistic methodology. (2) Construction of an 'area cladogram' which will be used to test the hypotheses of vicariance or dispersal in explaining the distribution of Oedionychina genera using the methods of cladistic biogeography; (3) Development of character systems not previously used in Chrysomelidae, such as microscopic characters of mouth parts and the sensilla of the reproductive system using scanning electron microscopy; and to study evolutionary trends in those character systems.

For my research I rely heavily on techniques of light and scanning electron microscopy for traditional studies of morphological characters. In the future I expect to have graduate students using morphological and molecular techniques.

Selected Publications: