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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 a Full Professor with a 70% research and 30% teaching appointment. 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. Her research has been funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and commodity groups and has been published in 62 refereed journal articles. She has served on 58 graduate committees, chairing 10 and co-chairing 3 committees. She has taught graduate courses and seminars in her areas of research expertise: host plant resistance, chemical ecology and insect ecology. She has served the department as the Graduate Coordinator since January 2009 and online M.S. and certificate program coordinator since 2012.

  • Research

    Dr. McAuslane’s research program focuses on the chemical ecology of herbivorous insects and their interactions with their host plants. She works 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 works with chemist collaborators to isolate and identify pheromones and plant-produced semiochemicals that influence the behavior of pest herbivores. The goal of these projects is to reduce insect damage to important crops using non-toxic and sustainable methods of behavior-based pest management.


  • Teaching

    Dr. McAuslane’s teaching program includes a graduate-level course with lab in Insect Ecology (online and face-to-face), a seminar in Insect Chemical Ecology, and a seminar in Professional Development for new graduate students.  She serves as the department’s Graduate Coordinator and also administers the online graduate Master’s and certificate programs for place-bound professionals seeking to increase their entomological knowledge and professional skills.


PHOTO OF Dr. McAuslane


2109 Steinmetz Hall
1881 Natural Area Dr
Gainesville, FL 32611
(352) 273-3923