Function of colouration in spiders
One of the main areas of focus in the lab is to consider spider body colouration from the perspective of potential prey and predators. We use a variety of techniques such as full spectrum digital photography and visual modelling to visualise the appearance of spiders. Our main study species are Verrucosa arenata, Mecaphesa dubia, Phidippus audax and the spider hunting wasps of the genus Trypoxylon. One area of research in particular is the pursuit deterrent strategies used by the Mexican fruit fly against their jumping spider predators.
Fine scale movement
We are also working on understanding the movement and navigation strategies of spiders and wasps as they approach their destination. In this area, we are working on movement patterns of kleptoparasitic spiders and flower seeking dune wasps.
An additional area of interest is the spatial distribution of spiders that live in the epiphytes of the cloud forest trees in Mexico. Our canopy work seeks to reveal patterns of distribution and preference by 3D mapping spider presence.
2017-2021 Ciencia Básica CONACyT “The functional significance of colouration in spiders: a sensory ecology perspective”
2012-2015 Ciencia Básica CONACyT “Waving to the enemy: Pursuit deterrence in tephritid flies against their jumping spider predators”
2011-2012 Proyecto PROMEP Apoyo a la Incorporación de Nuevos PTCs “Las arañas de las epifitas como indicadoras de conservación de la biodiversidad en plantaciones de café con sombra”, SEP, México.