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Entomology and Nematology Department

Entomology and Nematology Department

Dr. Heather J. McAuslane

Professor, Plant-Insect Interactions
Chemical Ecology

Dr. McAuslane started her career at the University of Florida in 1990, after graduation from Texas A&M University, and is currently Full Professor and Interim Department Chair. Over the years, her research has focused on management of vegetable, agronomic and horticultural insect pests, with research emphases on mechanisms of host plant resistance to insects, tritrophic interactions among plants, herbivores and biological control agents, and pest behavioral manipulation using pheromones and plant semiochemicals. She has served the department as Graduate Coordinator (2009-2021), online M.S. and certificate program coordinator (2012-2018), and Associate Chair (2016-2021). She has served the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences as Assistant Dean (2018-2021) with responsibilities in graduate student professional development and recruitment and faculty mentor training.

  • Research

    Dr. McAuslane’s research program focused on the chemical ecology of herbivorous insects and their interactions with their host plants. She worked with plant breeders to understand the mechanisms of resistance to insect pests in various vegetables, agronomic, and horticultural crops, including lettuce, peppers and St. Augustine grass. She worked with chemist collaborators to isolate and identify pheromones and plant-produced semiochemicals that influence the behavior of pest herbivores. The goal of these projects was to reduce insect damage to important crops using non-toxic and sustainable methods of behavior-based pest management.

     

  • Teaching

    Dr. McAuslane’s teaching efforts have included graduate-level courses in Insect Ecology (online and face-to-face), Host Plant Resistance, and Chemical Ecology. She taught a seminar in Professional Development for new graduate students. She currently teaches a seminar in Insect Chemical Ecology and co-teaches the CALS Mentor Academy for new faculty.

     

PHOTO OF Dr. McAuslane

Contact

1019 Steinmetz Hall
1881 Natural Area Dr
Gainesville, FL 32611
(352) 273-3970
hjmca@ufl.edu