Curriculum Vitae

Catherine Natalia Duckett

Curriculum Vitae

June 2003


Present: Entomology Dept., Blake Hall
Rutgers University,
New Brunswick NJ, 08901
402 South Second Ave.
Highland Park, NJ 08904-2229
732-932-4269, Office

732-932-4238, Lab.




Web address-



1987-1993        Cornell University, Ithaca, New York., Ph.D. Entomology.

1985-1987        University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, M.A. Biology.

1979-1983        Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, B.A. with Honors.


Professional Experience




2002-2003        Visiting Professor and NSF-Advance Fellow, Entomology Department, Cook College, Rutgers University. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of the phylogeny of the flea beetles (Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae), ADVANCE Fellow Smithsonian Institution.


1999-Current    Associate Professor, University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras, Research: Systematics and biogeography of Oedionychine flea beetles, including use of larval and life history characters as well as adult morphology and DNA. Curator of the “Invertebrates” for the UPR Zoology collections. 2002-2003 on leave.

2000-03            ALAS Project Flea Beetle specialist:  All Taxon Biodiversity sampling project,

                         La Selva, Costa Rica. Jack Longino, coordinator.


2000-01            Sabbatical, Rutgers University. Entomology Dept. Molecular Systematics, with special emphasis on use of RNA secondary structure for phylogenetics, in collaboration with Karl M. Kjer.

1994-1999        Assistant Professor University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras. Research on the systematics of the Oedionychina flea beetles using adult and larval morphology. Director of the Zoology Museum and curator of the “Invertebrates”.

1993                          Japan Society for the Promotion of Science/ National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship for study in Japan, Project: Phylogeny and Biogeography of the Asian Oedionychina, Dr. Kunio Suzuki, supervisor.



Selected Grants and Fellowships

2002-2005        National Science Foundation. ADVANCE Fellowship Smithsonian Institution and Rutgers University. Phylogeny of Flea Beetles: Testing 3 Hypotheses of Relatedness Using 3 Different Data Sets: Larval and Adult Morphology and DNA Sequence Data (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). $341,894, DEB -0137624.  Aug 2002-July 2005.

1999-2002        National Science Foundation, Systematics biogeography and the evolution of mimicry in Oedionychine Flea beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). $190,000 Dr. Karl  Kjer, Rutgers University, Co-PI. DEB-9972036.

1998-2000        Fondos Institucionales Por Investigacion Grant  (FIPI, University of Puerto Rico) for research on the Phylogeny and Biogeography of Oedionychina of Latin America (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), $ 31,000.

1997-1998        National Science  Foundation, Research planning grant for women (RPG), Systematics and Biogeography of Oedionychina (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). $17,264,  DEB 9707544.

1994-1997        Fondos Institucionales Por Investigacion Grant  (FIPI, University of Puerto Rico) for research on the Biogeography of Oedionychina (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). $22,000.

1995                 INBio (Institutio Nacional de Biodiversidad, Costa Rica) grant for transportation and lodging during a workshop on Chrysomelidae held at their facility in January. R.W. Flowers organizer. Travel and housing.



Honors and Awards


  1996 & 2002      Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.


1999                 Universidad de Puerto Rico Recinto de Río Piedras,  “Reconocimiento por Excelencia Académica y Productividad”. This university wide award of $2600 is made to professors nominated by their peers in recognition of outstanding academic achievement in teaching, academic service and research.


1989-1990        Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to Venezuela to conduct field and museum studies.



Selected peer reviewed Publications (* indicates student co-author)

Kim, S. J*., K. M. Kjer, C. N. Duckett. 2003. Comparison between Molecular and Morphological-based Phylogenies of galerucine/alticine Leaf beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae) Journal of Insect Systematics. 34: 53-64..

Duckett, C. N., J.J. Gillespie*, K. M. Kjer. 2003.Relationships among the subfamilies of Chrysomelidae inferred from small subunit ribosomal DNA and morphology, with special emphasis on the relationship among the Flea Beetles and the Galerucinae. Invited Chapter, New Contributions in Chrysomelidae Biology SPB Academic Publishers, P. Jolivet, M. Schmitt, and J.Santiago-Blay (eds),The Hague, The Netherlands, In press.

Duckett, C. N. 2003. Effects of the Flea Beetle Pedilia sirena Duckett on Oviposition choice by the butterfly Heliconius hewitsoni (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). New Contributions in Chrysomelidae Biology. SPB Academic Publishers, P. Jolivet, M. Schmitt, and J.Santiago-Blay (eds),The Hague, The Netherlands, In press.

Duckett, C. N. 2003. A New Species of Flea Beetle, Genus Pedilia  Clark (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae) from Osa Pennisula, Costa Rica. Zootaxa. 158:1-8.

Duckett, C.N. and J. D. Daza*. 2003 A new species of Flea beetle in genus Alagoasa Bechyné (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae: Alticini) from  Highland Costa Rica. Coleopterists Bulletin. 57: In Press.

Duckett, C.N. and Karl M. Kjer. 2003. Cladistic analysis of the Oedionychines of Southern Brazil (Galerucinae: Alticini) based on two molecular markers. In: Special Topics in Leaf Beetle Biology: Proccedings of 5th international symposium on the Chrysomelidae. D.G. Furth (Ed), Pensoft Publishers, Sofia- Moscow, pp. 117-132.

Duckett, C.N and Z. Swigonová*. 2002. Description of the immature stages of Alagoasa januaria Bechyné (Chrysomelidae: Alticini). Journal of the New York Entomological Society.110(1):115-126.

Duckett, C.N.  & L. A.  Moura*. 2002. First descriptions of immature stages of Yingaresca holoscercia (Bowditch) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae) and notes on their biology.  Coleopterists Bulletin 56: 161-169.

Duckett, C.N. & S. Casari. 2002.  First Descriptions of Larval Stages of Walterianella bucki Bechyné (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticini) and  Notes on Life History.  Coleopterists Bulletin. 56:170-181.

Blanco, Javier*  and C.N. Duckett. 2001. Revision and Cladistic analysis of genus Homoschema  Blake (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Caribbean Journal of Science 37:1-29.

Duckett, C.N. and Sandra Moyá. * 1999. A new species of Ptocadica  Harold (Chrysomelidae: Alticini) from Costa Rica. Coleopterists Bulletin.53(4):311-319.

Duckett, C.N. 1999.A preliminary cladistic analysis of the subtribe Disonychina with special emphasis on the series Paralactica  (Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae: Alticini). Advances in Chrysomelidae Biology 1. M. L. Cox, Ed. Backhyus Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands. pp. 105-136.

Casari, S. A. and C.N. Duckett 1997 (1998) A description of immature stages of two species of Pseudolampsis  (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and a new combination in the genus.  Journal of the New York Entomological Society. 105: 50-64..


Selected other works

C.N. Duckett. 2003.  Book Review: Chrysomelidae of Southern Australia, E. W. and C. A. M. Reid.  Coleopterists Bulletin. 57: 116.

C.N. Duckett. 2003. Book Reivew: Biology of Leaf Beetles, by Pierre Jolivet and Krishna K. Verma. Journal of Entomological Society of Ontario. In press.

Gillespie, J*. C.N. Duckett & K.M.  Kjer. 2001. Identification of a gene region that gives good phylogenetic signal determining high level divergences within alticine and galerucine chrysomelids. Chrysomela 40: 10-11.

Duckett, C.N. and Z. Swigonová*, 2000. Preservation of Chrysomelidae for Molecular Study. Chrysomela 38/39:11.

Duckett, C.N. 1998. Looking for larvae in Brazil.  Chrysomela 35. 8-9.

Duckett, C.N. 1997. The scientific method and the predictive value of classification.  Chrysomela, 34:3-4.

Catherine N. Duckett. 1997. A practical key to the Passiflora Associated Alticinae of Sirena and some co-mimics.

Duckett, C.N. 1995. Variation in reproductive structures. Chrysomela. 29:4-5.



Submitted Manuscripts

Gillespie, J. J*., K. M. Kjer, C N. Duckett, D. W. Tallamy.  Phylogenetic Signal from Multiple Molecules Suggests the Convergent Evolution of Cucurbitacin Pharmacophagy in Spatially Isolated Rootworm Taxa (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae; Galerucinae, Luperini). In Press.Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.



Manuscripts in Preparation


Duckett, C. N., J. B. Lovett* K. M. Kjer.  A molecular phylogeny of genus Alagoasa  shows convergent patterns of mimicry. In preparation for Annals of the Ent. Soc.of America.


Duckett, C.N. A revision and cladistic analysis of genus Pedilia  (Chrysomelidae: Alticinae), with descriptions of 21 new species. In preparation for Coleopterists Society Monographs.



Teaching (past 10 years)

2002 Perspectives in Agriculture and Environment, Rutgers Univ. Seminar, 26 Freshman.
1994-2002 Organismal  Zoology, Biol. 3420, (UPR): Introduction to structure, function and systematics of the animals, lecture and lab, average enrollment 100.
2001, 1996 & 1998 Phylogenetic Systematics,  Biol. 6120, University of Puerto Rico, lecture and computer lab, average  enrollment 8.
1995-96 & 1999 Entomology, Biol. 5580, University of Puerto Rico, lecture, field trips and lab, average enrollment 10.

Introductory Biology, Biol 3101, University of Puerto Rico, lecture, enrollment 211.



Professional Presentations (last 5 years):

2003    Phylogeny of the Chrysomelidae based on 18S molecular and morphological data, Invited Speaker, University of California, Davis. February.

2002    Phylogeny of the Chrysomelidae based on 18S molecular data, Chrysomelidae informal conference, Entomological Society of America, Annual Meetings Ft. Lauderdale Florida. Nov.

Do more characters or more taxa help to solve the problem of generic placement of a new species of Oedionychina, Ent. Soc. Am. Annual meetings, Florida, Nov.

Patterns of mimicry and evolution of host plant associations in the Giant Flea Beetles (Chrysomelidae: Alticini: Oedionychina), Invited Speaker, Sept., Rutgers Univ.

Patterns of mimicry and evolution of host plant associations in the Giant Flea Beetles (Chrysomelidae: Alticini: Oedionychina), Invited Speaker, July, University of Tennesee, Knoxville, TN.

Patterns of Mimicry and evolution of host plant associations in the Giant Flea Beetles (Chrysomelidae: Alticini: Oedionychina), Invited Speaker, 21 May, Entomological Society of New York.   New York City, NY.

Phylogeny of Flea Beetles and evolution of mimicry in the Giant Flea Beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae: Oedionychina), Invited Speaker, Duquesne University, April, Pittsburgh PA.

Phylogeny of Flea Beetles and evolution of mimicry in the Giant Flea Beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae: Oedionychina), Invited Speaker, City University of New York, April, Staten Island, NY.

2001    Phylogeny and evolution of mimicry in Oedionchine Flea Beetles. American Entomological Annual meetings, Dec. San Diego, California.

Biogeography and  Phylogeny of the Oedionychina: has character convergence fooled taxonomists? Systematic Biology Annual meeting, June, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Biogeography, Phylogeny and the evolution of mimicry in the Giant Flea Beetles, Invited Speaker Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, January.

2000    Phylogeny  of Galerucinae and the fleabeetles with special emphasis on Oedionychina. Entomological Society of America, Annual meetings, Montreal. Dec. 10 min. paper.

            Phylogeny and Evolution of Mimicry in the Oedionychina based on Molecular data and its implications for the resolution to of the question of alticine-galerucine relationships University of Delaware, Sept. Invited Speaker. & Oct, University of Puerto Rico.

            Phylogeny and Evolution of Mimicry in the Oedionychina, XXI International Congress of Entomology, Iguassu Falls, 4th International Symposium of Chrysomelid Biology. Aug. Invited Speaker.

1999    Phylogeny and Evolution of Mimicry in the Oedionychina, Texas A & M Univ.  Dec. Invited Speaker.

             Biogeography,  Phylogeny and the evolution of mimicry in the Alticini, NARCE Annual  meetings.  Tuskegee University, April.

            Phylogeny and Biogeography in Flea Beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).  Southeastern Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau. MO, Jan 1999, Invited Speaker.



Professional Organizations

                         Coleopterists Society

                         Entomological Society of America

                         New York Entomological Society

                         Sociedade Brasilera do Entomologia

                         Sociedad Entomologica de Venezuela

                         Society of Systematic Biology

                         Willi Hennig Society

                         Xerxes Society


Workshops attended

National Center for Biological Information (NCBI) Workshop: A Field Guide to GenBank, Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, P.R. 14 May 2002.

Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (Costa Rica) Chrysomelidae Workshop, a workshop given by INBio to give Chrysomelid workers an opportunity to identify INBio material and to learn from each other.  3 Jan- 11 Jan 1995, Heredia, Costa Rica.

            Adult Beetle Identification Workshop, a workshop given by Drs. John Lawrence and James Pakaluk, for The Canadian Museum of the CANACOLL Foundation and the Biological Survey of Canada.  May 22-28, 1995. Ottawa, Canada.

Invited Curator, Chrysomelidae

            Carnegie Museum Pittsburgh, PA., from September 2002, Entomological Research Associate.

            Taxonomic collaborator, California Academy of Sciences, Chrysomelidae of Madagascar

            Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso, Cuiabá, Brazil June 16,1996.

            Universidade Federal do Paraná, Padre Moure Collection, Curitiba, Brazil, May 24-29, 1996.

            Canadian Museum of Nature May 29-June 1 1995, Ottawa, Canada.

            Canadian Centre for Land and Biological Resources Research, Agriculture- Canada, May 26-29, Ottawa, Canada.


University Committees- University of Puerto Rico- Recinto de Río Piedras


Biology Department, Personnel committee, 2001-2002.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), Chair, 1995-2000, 2002.

University of Puerto Rico Institutional negotiating committee, 1998-1999.

Campus Committee on Use of Language in Curricular reform, 1995-2000.

Biology Department Committee on Curricular reform of the Bachelor’s degree, 2001, 1997-1999 Chair.

Biology Department Graduate committee, 1998-2000.

Biology Department, Faculty recruitment committees, Zoologist 1995, Biology educator 1996.

Biology Department, Curriculum committee, 1994-1996.

Biology Department, Academic Affairs committee. 1994-1996, 1998.


International Field-trips in alphabetical order by country:


Belgium: 1995 Brabant and Tervuren , 3 days.
Brazil:  1999 Rio Grande do Sul, São Paulo, Sta. Catarina and Paraná states, 25 days, January.
  1998 Rio Grande do Sul, São Paulo and Paraná states, 3+ months January- April.
  1996 Espiritu Santo, Rio Grande do Sul, São Paulo, Rio de Janiero and Paraná states, 2+months, April-June.
Costa Rica:  1995 Heredia and Puntarenas Provinces, January, 7 days
  1987 Osa Peninsula, December, 3 weeks.
  1986 Osa Peninsula, Parque Nacional Corcovado, May-Aug.
  1985 Osa Peninsula, Parque Nacional Corcovado, June-Aug., 7 weeks.
Japan:   1999 Toyama and Ishikawa prefectures, 3 days
  1993 Toyama Prefecture, weekly collecting trips July- Nov.,  Ryukyu Archipelago, 2 weeks.
Korea: 1999 June, 5 days, Seoul and environs.
Mexico 2000 Oaxaca, Veracruz States, June 14 days; Yucatan peninsula, 5 days, December.
South Africa:

2000  Mapulanga & Kwa-Zulu Natal provinces, Dec-Jan, 7 weeks.

Venezuela: 1996 Tiara, Aragua Province, 5 days.
  1994 Aragua Province, 2 weeks.
  1989-1990 Aragua, Caracas, Amazonas and Roriama Territories, >3 months.


Graduate Advisees:

Angel Vargas               MS. 1998, University of Puerto Rico (UPR).

Javier Blanco               MS. Aug 2000 (UPR-Mayaguez).

Sandra Moyá               Ph.D. expected Dec. 2003 (UPR).

Zuzana Swigonová      Ph.D. Oct. 2002 (Co-Chair with Karl Kjer, Rutgers).


I have served on thesis committees of the following students:

María del Pilar Angulo (MS), 1998

María Fernanda Barbarena (MS), 1998

Wilma Colón (Ph.D), 2002

Hermógenes Fernández (MS), 2000

Eduardo Nazario (MS), withdrew

Luis Padilla (MS), 2003

Francy Elena Pedreros (MS) 2001

Omar Peréz (MS), 1998

Bert Rivera (MS), 2002

Noemí Rivera (Ph.D), expected 2004

Carlos Trejo (MS), 2000



Publications by my graduate advisees not co-authored by me.

Angel Vargas. 1997.  Geographic Distribution of Nephila clavipes (Aranee: Tetragnathidae) in Puerto Rico.  Caribbean Journal of Science.  33(1):114-115.

Angel Vargas. 2000. Effects of fertilizer addition and debris removal to leaf-litter spiders at two elevations.  Journal of Arachnology, 28:79-89.


Reviewer for:

            American Journal of Botany

            Caribbean Journal of Science

            Coleopterists Bulletin

            Annals of the Entomological Society of America

            National Science Foundation

            Journal of the New York Entomological Society

            Sociedad Entomologica de Venezuela

            Society of Systematic Biologists



Citizenship: U.S.                                                      Languages:    Fluent Spanish & Functional Portuguese



Main Page CV Current Projects Student pages Beetle Images