Lab News

The Mesce Lab at the University of Minnesota

Is There a Doctor in the House?

08/13/2019 - 05:25

...there is now!

We're happy to report that Ph.D. candidate Anthony Auletta successfully passed his dissertation defense yesterday! Congratulations to the newly-minted Dr. Auletta!

Anthony recently began his new position as Lecturer of Insect Biology at the University of Florida Department of Entomology & Nematology. While it is bittersweet to see him go after six years in the lab, we are very excited for him as he begins this new chapter of his career and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors!

New Publication: Catecholaminergic Neurons in the Spider CNS

08/05/2019 - 11:36


Catecholaminergic neurons in the wolf spider

We are very excited to announce a new publication, hot off the presses at the Journal of Comparative Neurology! The full citation is below:

Auletta ARue MCPHarley CM, & Mesce KA. 2019. Tyrosine hydroxylase immunolabeling reveals the distribution of catecholaminergic neurons in the central nervous systems of the spiders Hogna lenta (Araneae: Lycosidae) and Phidippus regius (Araneae: Salticidae). Journal of Comparative Neurology 2019: 1-20.

Congratulations to lead author, Ph.D. candidate Anthony Auletta, as well as his co-authors: former lab manager Mara C.P. Rue, former postdoc Cindy Harley, and PI Karen Mesce! They have been working on this one for a long time, and are all very excited to share the results with you. This paper is the first description of catecholaminergic (e.g. dopaminergic and adrenergic) neurons in the central nervous system of any arachnid species, and forms a core component of Anthony's doctoral dissertation.

The full text of the article is available online now, via JCN's "Early View." Please go check it out!

Anthony Says, "Later, Gator!"

07/22/2019 - 09:11



This week, we bid a fond farewell to Ph.D. candidate Anthony Auletta, as he heads down to Gainesville, FL to begin his new position as Lecturer of Insect Biology at the University of Florida Department of Entomology & Nematology. As a member of the teaching faculty at UF, Anthony will develop and teach a variety of entomology courses, as well as advise undergraduate students and coordinate CUREs (course-based undergraduate research experiences). It is a perfect fit for Anthony, who is passionate about entomology and undergraduate education, and we wish him the very best in Florida!

Anthony will be back to visit Minnesota next month, to formally defend his Ph.D. dissertation.

Anthony Receives CFANS Teaching Award

04/25/2019 - 11:04


Yay for great teachers!

Congratulations to Ph.D. Candidate Anthony Auletta, who was recently selected to receive the Graduate Assistant Teaching Award from the College of Food, Agriculture, & Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS)! This prestigious award, which includes a $1500 prize, is given annually to one graduate student in CFANS who has demonstrated excellence in undergraduate teaching and education. During his time at the University of Minnesota, Anthony has taught in five different entomology courses, and has made strong contributions to the undergraduate and graduate programs in the Department of Entomology. He has a strong interest and background in pedagogy, and will be pursuing a career in undergraduate entomology education after he graduates later this year. Congratulations, Anthony, on this well-deserved recognition!

Anthony will formally receive the award at the CFANS Spring College Assembly, which will take place on Tuesday, May 7th from 9:30 am–12:00 pm in 105 Cargill.

Anthony presents at SICB 2019

12/29/2018 - 12:45





Ph.D. Candidate Anthony Auletta is kicking off the new year in sunny Tampa, FL, at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society for Intregrative & Comparative Biology (SICB). The meeting will take place in the Tampa Convention Center from January 3-7th. If you'll be in attendance, please come check out Anthony's poster, which details the latest and greatest research he's done as part of his doctoral dissertation:

Auletta A, Mesce KA. 2019. An examination of biogenic amines in nervous system of the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus (Scorpiones: Buthidae) provides insight into the evolution of neuromodulatory systems in the Arthropoda. 

And, of course, from all of us here in the Mesce Lab, have a safe, happy, and productive new year!! We look forward to all of the wonderful things to come in 2019!