Catherine J. Hanna, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology (Science)
412-397-6334 phone (M)
412-397-4075 fax
John Jay 220

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Ecology, Evolution & Behavior, University of Louisville, 2007
  • Bachelor of Science, Biology, Xavier University, 2002

Professional Background

  • While still finishing my dissertation at the University of Louisville, I took a position at Alice Lloyd College in eastern Kentucky. In 2009, I got married and left my position at ALC to move to the Pittsburgh area with my husband-also a biologist- who took a job in the area. I was delighted to join RMU as an adjunct faculty member in 2009, and began as a full-time assistant professor in 2010.

Area of Expertise/Research

  • I consider myself a broadly trained ecologist, with a specialty in behavioral ecology and zoology. The majority of my research has been concerning reproductive behaviors- specifically how breeding sites are chosen and how anthropogenic changes influence behaviors. Currently, I am investigating the effects of pesticides on the behaviors of a common predator of crop pests- the striped lynx spider, Oxyopes salticus. Additionally, this spring, my students and I, in partnership with the Fern Hollow Nature Center, began marking Jeffersons salamanders to monitor how recent changes to their habitats affect their population and breeding behaviors.


  • C. Hanna & C. Hanna.  Sublethal pesticide exposure disrupts courtship in the striped lynx spider Oxyopes salticus (Araneae: Oxyopidae).  Journal of Applied Entomology. 
  • C. Hanna & C. Hanna. 2013.  The lethal and sublethal effects of three pesticides on the striped lynx spider (Oxyopes salticus Hentz).  Journal of Applied Entomology 137: 68-76.
  • Byers, C. and P. K. Eason.  2009.  Conspecifics and their posture influence site choice and oviposition in the damselfly, Argia Moesta.  Ethology 115 (8):  721-730. 

    Vanderhoff,N.  C. J. Byers and C. J. Hanna.  2008.  Do the color and pattern of Micrathen gracilis (Aranae: Araneidae) attract prey?  Examination of the prey attraction hypothesis and crypsis.  Journal of Insect Behavior 21: 469-475.  


  • 2012 - Pesticide exposure and pheromone communication in the striped lynx spider, Oxyopes salticus. C. Hanna & C. Hanna. Animal Behavior, Albuquerque, NM
  • 2012 - Effect of riparian shade on stream water temperature: A collaboration among eleven primarily undergraduate institutions. Jeffrey A. Simmons, Michelle L. Anderson, William J. Dress, Jennifer Frick-Ruppert, Catherine J. B. Hanna, Daniel Hornbach, Alida Janmaat, Frank Kuserk, James G. March, Tom Murray , Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA, John Niedzwiecki , Belmont University, Nashville, TN, Darlene Panvini, Bob Pohlad, Carolyn L. Thomas, Liette. Ecological Society of America
  • 2011 - Hanna C. and C. Hanna. Behavioral effects of pesticides on the agricultural pest predator, Oxyopes salticus. Behavior 2011. Bloomington, IN.
  • 2010 - Hanna, C. B., A. Porter, P. K. Eason. Egg laying choices and the role of conspecifics in Jefferson?s salamander, Ambystoma jeffersonianum. Ecological Society of America, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • 2007 - Byers, C. and P. K. Eason. Choosing where to lay eggs: the role of conspecific cues in the damselfly Argia moesta. Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference, Kent
  • 2006 - Byers, C. and P. K. Eason. Oviposition site selection and the role of conspecifics in the damselfly Argia moesta. Kentucky Academy of Sciences, Morehead, KY
  • 2006 - Byers, C. Bigger is better: Salamander abundance in large and small reserves. University of Louisville, Louisville, KY