Assistant Professor
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, and Amphibian Biology, 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

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., Isola, M., Maccachero, V.C., Condon, K., Donnelly, M.A. (2010) Ontogenetic scaling of poison glands in a dendrobatid frog.  Journal of Zoology 282(2010): 238-245.

Saporito, R.A., Zuercher, R., Roberts, M., Gerrow, K.G. and Donnelly, M.A. (2007) Experimental evidence for aposematism in the poison frog Oophaga pumilioCopeia 4: 1006-1011.

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.

Saporito, R.A., Donnelly, M.A., Norton, R., Garraffo, H.M., Spande, T.F., and Daly, J.W. (2007) Oribatid mites as a major dietary source for alkaloids in poison frogs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104(21): 8885-8890.