Invertebrate Zoology

Laboratory Assistant Vanessa VerdeciaVanessa Verdecia
412.688.8670 (fax)

Academic Training 

BS University of Pittsburgh, 2002


  • Preparing and labeling insect specimens for survey work
  • Assist with curation including sorting, identification, arranging, specimen renovation, databasing, and tray labeling

Research Interests 

  • Focused on acquiring a thorough entomological background with concentration on Lepidoptera, especially revisionary and biological work on the tent caterpillar family Lasiocampidae.
  • Interested in applying approaches of systematic biology to understanding the evolution, ecology, and conservation biology of insects, with aspiration to publish and further education through graduate studies.
  • Interested in aspects of insect ecology that are influenced by symbiotic and social behavior—the benefits and trade-offs of mutualism and gregarious behavior.
  • Concerned with environmental issues and how to apply knowledge from systematic research to issues of protection, use of bio-indicators, and resource management.
  • Interested in pursuing a research position that touches on these subjects and has practical environmental and educational applications.

Research Emphases 

  • Fieldwork, collecting, and preparation of insect specimens for the Susquehanna Floodplains Survey (2003) conducted by The Nature Conservancy and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
  • Field and laboratory work for projects on the Macromoths of Northern Utah, Pennsylvania ground beetles, and Pennsylvania fireflies.