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Catherine N. Duckett, Ph.D.

  • Associate Dean
  • School of Science

Department: School of Science

Office: Edison Hall 282E

Phone: 732-263-5887


I am an entomologist by training. After a brief postdoctoral stint in Japan, I began an eight-year sojourn in Puerto Rico where I taught introductory biology, zoology, and entomology. In 2002 I took an NSF fellowship researching the evolution and taxonomy of flea beetles, Chrysomelidae, a position split between Rutgers and Smithsonian. Afterwards I became involved in academic administration and fund-raising, most recently as a consultant. However, I also served as Associate Director of the Office of Promotion of Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics and Program Manager at Ocean Biogeographic Information System, both at Rutgers.

At the School of Science, I enjoy serving as co-director of the peer mentoring program, working with the dean on our fund-raising and publicity, and working with the faculty on improving professional development opportunities for faculty and students. I am working with a team of faculty on a course for non-majors in the sustainability of the food system. I am also the faculty advisor for the Goldwater and Udall scholarships.


Ph.D., Cornell University

M.A., University of Texas at Austin

B.A., Brown University

Research Interests

My research interests focus on the evolution of tropical flea beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae) using both molecular and morphological data. Students working with me also work on evolution of mimicry in flea beetles and on projects involving local insects. Training art students in scientific illustration is often a by-product of this research.

Scholarly Articles

Marvaldi, A., C.N. Duckett, K.M. Kjer, J.J. Gillespie. 2009. Structural alignment of 18S and 28S rDNA sequences provides insights into phylogeny of Phytophaga and related beetles (Coleoptera: Cucujiformia). Zoologica Scripta. 38 (1): 63-77.

Whittaker, S.D. and C.N. Duckett. 2006. Effects of DNA extraction techniques on morphological analysis of small arthropods. Scanning, 28 (2): 102.

Duckett. C.N., K.D. Prathapan, A.S. Konstantinov. 2006. Notes on identity and synonymy of Ivalia Jacoby (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) with description of a new species. Zootaxa, 1363:49-68.

Williams, H.E. and Duckett, C.N. 2005.The Trimorphic flea-beetle, Alagoasa extrema, not suitable for biocontrol of Lantana camara in Africa. BioControl, 50:657–683.

Duckett, C.N. and J. D. Daza*. 2004. A new species of Flea beetle in genus Alagoasa Bechyné(Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae: Alticini) from Highland Costa Rica. Coleopterists Bulletin. 58: 84-96.

Duckett, C. N., J.J. Gillespie*, K.M. Kjer. 2004. 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, pp.3-18.

Duckett, C.N. 2004. 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,pp. 407-414.

Duckett, C.N. and K.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: Proceedings 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.


Recently Taught Classes

2021 Fall

  • The Science and Politics of Climate Change – PR 459

2021 Spring

  • The Science and Politics of Climate Change – PR 459

2020 Fall

  • Climate Science for 21st Century Citizens – SC 130

2020 Spring

  • The Science and Politics of Climate Change – PR 459

Frequently Taught Classes

  • Climate Science for 21st Century Citizens (SC 130)
  • The Science and Politics of Climate Change (PR 459)