Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Nephilid spider phylogeny as a test for antagonistic coevolution of sexes

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.03.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biology   

Code Science Field
B320  Biomedical sciences  Systematic zoology, taxonomy, zoogeopraphy 
evolution, antagonistic coevolution, arms race, genital morphology, sexual behaviour, speciation, sexual selection, biodiversity, spiders, Araneae, phylogeny     
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (2)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  08376  PhD Igor Dakskobler  Biology  Head  2005 - 2007  701 
2.  19326  PhD Matjaž Kuntner  Biology  Researcher  2005 - 2007  500 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  62,902 
The recent spider literature does not support arms race models (antagonistic coevolution), but my preliminary data on nephilid spiders (Nephilidae, Simon) suggest otherwise. Spiders are ideal for studying genital divergence because that is often the only salient trait that differs; all others (life-history, reproduction) are thus held constant. Evolutionary questions are best asked in the context of a solid phylogeny. Here, we propose to test a new morphological phylogeny for nephilids (and thus the evolution of sexual traits) with genomic data. The combination of morphological and genomic data should provide the best context in which to analyse currently available behavioural evidence. The three lines of evidence together form the basis for a proposed long-term collaborative international research programme that unites three spider biology experts with different expertises. This project will reintegrate me into European science after six years of research in the USA. Spider genital evolution contrasts with better known animal models, and may strongly challenge existing models of sexual selection and related evolutionary processes.
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