Dr. Anthony Auletta
Assistant Instructional Professor
Anthony is a broadly-tuned organismal biologist with a special interest in the behavior, physiology, and evolution of arthropods (especially the Arachnida), as well as science education and communication. As a lecturer in the Entomology & Nematology Department, Anthony seeks to share his passion for arthropods with students from all backgrounds, with the hope of fostering a lifelong appreciation for these fascinating animals. One of his primary duties is the development and coordination of CUREs (Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences) in entomology, which aim to provide students with a meaningful introduction to conducting real entomological research in a collaborative setting. He is also involved with undergraduate advising in the department, and enjoys helping students discover their interests and work towards their career goals.
In the past, Anthony conducted research on the comparative neurobiology of arachnids, with a focus on the quantification, distribution, and functional roles of biogenic amines (e.g., dopamine, norepinephrine, and octopamine) in the central nervous systems of spiders and scorpions. He has also investigated group dynamics in a variety of subsocial arthropods, including huntsman spiders, Amblypygi (“tailless whip scorpions”), and web-spinning insects in the order Embiidina. His research has included aspects of neuroanatomy, electrophysiology, quantitative chemistry, ethology, and evolutionary biology. Although Anthony does not have a formal research appointment at UF, he is always happy to talk with interested undergraduate and graduate students about these topics and assist them in their research whenever possible
My teaching program revolves around the use of evidence-based teaching practices to help students better understand and appreciate the biology of arthropods. To this end, I use many active learning techniques in my classroom, including interactive lectures, small-group discussions, hands-on laboratory/research activities, cooperative problem-solving, reflective exercises, case studies, and debates. This broad array of teaching strategies allows me to reach a diverse audience of students from many different backgrounds and help them connect with the field of entomology.
Currently, I teach the following courses:
- ENY 2890: Insect Research & Scientific Engagement
- ENY 3005/5006: Principles of Entomology
In the past, I have also taught undergraduate and graduate courses in insect morphology & physiology, insect taxonomy, forest entomology, veterinary entomology, spider biology, and genetics.
I am especially interested in developing and teaching CUREs (Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences), which provide students with a meaningful, hands-on introduction to scientific research. CUREs offer many benefits to students, including measurable increases in students’ knowledge of core concepts, critical thinking & research skills, interest in science, collaborative abilities, and overall confidence. ENY 2890 is a CURE that I teach in collaboration with a rotating team of research faculty in the Entomology & Nematology Department.
I am also broadly interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning. I am always eager to expand upon my teaching toolkit via education workshops, conferences, and teaching collaborations, as well as to contribute new knowledge to the field via peer-reviewed education publications.