Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director

Degrees: B.S. in Biology, Florida International University, Miami, Florida.
Ph.D. in Biology, Florida International University, Miami, Florida.
NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia.

Expertise: Chemical Ecology, Tropical Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution, with an emphasis on predator-prey interactions and aposematism.

Research Interests

My research is broadly focused on the ecology and evolution of antipredator adaptations in animals, particularly chemical defenses and aposematism. I am especially interested in studying these defensive adaptations in vertebrates (mainly amphibians and reptiles) that acquire chemical defenses from their diet. Most of my research surrounds the study of brightly colored poison frogs and the arthropod prey from which they sequester alkaloid-based chemical defenses. My research program is highly integrative, involves a variety of comparative and experimental approaches (both field- and lab-based), and incorporates aspects of ecology, evolution, behavior, morphology, natural history, and frog and arthropod chemistry.

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Recent Courses

BL 230/231 – Human Anatomy & Physiology
BL 156 – Principles of Biology II
BL 159 – Principles of Biology III
BL 406 – Tropical Field Biology

Selected Publications

Stynoski, J.L., Torres-Mendoza, Y., Sasa-Marin, M., and Saporito, R.A. (2014) Evidence of maternal provisioning of alkaloid-based chemical defenses in the strawberry poison frog Oophaga pumilio. Ecology 95(3): 587-593.

Paluh, D.J., Hantak, M.M., and Saporito, R.A. (2014) A test of aposematism in the dendrobatid poison frog Oophaga pumilio: The importance of movement in clay model experiments. Journal of Herpetology 48: 249-254.

Hantak, M.M., Grant, T., Reinsch, S., McGinnity, D., Loring, M., Toyooka, N., and Saporito, R.A. (2013) Dietary alkaloid sequestration in a poison frog: An experimental test of alkaloid uptake in Melanophryniscus stelzneri (Bufonidae). Journal of Chemical Ecology 39(1): 1400-1406.

Saporito, R.A., Donnelly, M.A., Spande, T.F., and Garraffo, H.M. (2012) A review of chemical ecology in poison frogs. Chemoecology 22: 159-168.

Saporito, R.A., Norton, R.A., Andriamaharavo, N.R., Garraffo, H.M., and Spande, T.F. (2011) Alkaloids in the mite Scheloribates laevigatus: Further alkaloids common to oribatid mites and poison frogs. Journal of Chemical Ecology 37(2): 213-218.

Saporito, R.A., Donnelly, M.A., Jain, P., Garraffo, H.M., Spande, T.F., and Daly, J.W. (2007) Spatial and temporal patterns of alkaloid variation in the poison frog Oophaga pumilio in Costa Rica and Panama over 30 years. Toxicon 50(6): 757-778.