Meeting Schedule

*designates entrant in student competition
Presenter is underlined

Monday, June 17

Welcome and introductory remarks
Lena Hill, Dean of the College, Washington and Lee University
Nadia Ayoub, Meeting Host

Session 1: Functional morphology
Moderator: Thomas Jones

Why the long pedipalps? Quantifying prey capture performance across amblypygid species
*Callum McLean, Michael Seiter, Russell J Garwood, Charlotte A Brassey

New insights into the biology of cosmetid nymphs
Victor Townsend, Jr., Maynard Schaus, Daniel Proud

Three-dimensional x-ray tomography for functional and comparative morphology in terrestrial arthropods
*Xavier Zahnle, Petra Sierwald, Jason E. Bond

Dear ticks, do you have metal? An elemental analysis of the hard bodied tick’s exoskeleton.
*Jessica Cote


Session 2: Morphological evolution & taxonomy
Moderator: Nadia Ayoub

Investigating the poly-paraphyly of North American camel spiders (Solifugae: Eremobatidae: Therobatinae) and their unique moveable palpal spines
*Erika L. García, Paula E. Cushing, Damien Laudier

Developmental expression of the Doublesex sex determination genes in the common house spider, Parasteatoda tepidariorum.
Jesscia Petko

New species in the Leiobunum calcar species complex from the southern Appalachian Mountains and the taxonomic and functional significance of the neoglans
Jeffrey Shultz, Justin Lee

Comparative spigot ontogeny across the spider tree of life
Rachael  Alfaro, Charles Griswold, Kelly Miller

The Curious Case of Tarsal Claws: taxonomic and phylogenetic significance of tarsal claws in solifugae (Solifugae: Eremobatidae)
Paula Cushing, Jack O. Brookhart

Morphology of male abdominal ctenidia in North American Solifugae
*Richard Jones, Paula Cushing


Session 3: Molecular phylogenetics & systematics
Moderator: Daniel Proud

Phylogenetic analysis of the family Cosmetidae (Opiliones, Arachnida) using a total evidence approach.
*Brittany Damron, Ricardo Pinto-da-Rocha

Whole-collection COI barcoding and species delimitation of New Zealand and South American neopilionid harvestmen (Opiliones)
*Jonathan MacDougall, Kate Sheridan, Christina J. Painting, Gregory I. Holwell, Abel Pérez-González, Ricardo Pinto-da-Rocha, Gonzalo Giribet, Gustavo Hormiga

Systematics of the genus Erginulus (Opiliones: Laniatores: Cosmetidae)
Daniel Proud, Austin Grace, Jasson Tahhan, Victor R. Townsend Jr.

Phylogenetic analysis of Nearctic Schizocosa (Araneomorphae, Lycosidae), with implications for the evolution of traits under sexual selection
James Starrett, Rowan McGinley, Eileen Hebets, Jason Bond

Global phylogeny and biogeographic history of net-casting spiders (Family: Deinopidae)
*Lisa Chamberland, Tess Ruddy, Jay A. Stafstrom, Ingi Agnarsson


Session 4: Circadian Rhythms
Moderator: Darrell Moore

Nonconformity in Spider Circadian Rhythms
Darrell Moore, Nadia Ayoub, Natalia Toporikova, Thomas Jones

Lights, Clock, Action! : Circadian rhythms of locomotor activity in Larinioides cornutus indicate extreme flexibility in photo-entrainment
*Madeleine K. Miller, Thomas C. Jones, Darrell Moore

Circadian resonance and entrainment in three spiders (Frontinella communis, Metazygia wittfeldae, and Cyclosa turbinata)
*Raven Ragsdale, Colin Shone, Madeleine Miller, Thomas C. Jones, Darrell Moore

Effects of non-photic zeitgebers on the circadian clock in the common house spider, Parasteatoda tepidariorum
*Mattea Garmany, Thomas C. Jones, Darrell Moore

Circadian strategy of cave dwelling orb-weavers
*Rebecca Steele, Darrell Moore, Blaine Schubert, Rebecca Wilson, Thomas C Jones

Spiders on fast time: using mathematical modeling to understand the mechanism of an exceptionally short-period circadian clock
Natalia Toporikova, Andrew Mah, Adrian Lam, Nadia Ayoub, Daniel Robb, Thomas C. Jones, Darrell J. Moore

Anticipation vs. opportunism: a test of a novel ecological hypothesis regarding the diel distribution of locomotor activity in spiders
Thomas Jones, A. Parker Shields, Darrell Moore

Informal Social at Great Valley Brewery
60 Great Valley Lane, Natural Bridge, VA 2457
Buses will load and depart from Washington Street in front of Lee House. The first bus will depart campus at 5:15pm and the second bus at 5:30pm.

Student Night
Macado’s Restaurant, 30 North Main Street, Lexington, VA
Students may meet on the bus at Great Valley Brewery at 8:00pm or at Macado’s.

Tuesday, June 18 

Session 5: Silk I
Moderator: Todd Blackledge

Bridging the gap: Bridge threads improve energy dissipation in Micrathena webs
Sarah Han, Angela Alicea-Serrano, Todd Blackledge

New insights into the sophisticated performance of ancient capture silks
Todd Blackledge, Dakota Piorkowski, Martin Ramirez, Peter Michalik

Untangling the structure and function of social pseudoscorpion silk nests
Kenny Chapin, Karly Garrett, Anna Dornhaus

Evolutionarily divergent silk proteins may explain the unrivalled toughness of Darwin’s bark spider dragline used in giant orb webs
Jessica Garb, Robert Haney, Matjaž Gregorič, Matjaž Kuntner, Ingi Agnarsson, Todd Blackledge

Hidden link between protein structure and mechanical properties of the world’s toughest spider silk
*K Zin Htut, Angela Alicea-Serrano, Saranshu Singla, Ingi Agnarsson, Jessica Garb, Matjaz Kuntner, Matjaz Gregoric, Todd Blackledge, Ali Dhinojwala


Session 6: Silk II
Moderator: Jessica Garb

Physiological control of microstructural-chemical interactions in adhesiveness of spider capture silk
*Angela M. Alicea-Serrano, Song Vo, Hanneh Hope-Taogoshi, Ariel Onyak, Ali Dhinojwala Todd A. Blackledge

Synergy between the support and adhesive components of orb web prey capture threads
*Sean D. Kelly, Brent D. Opell, Hannah M. Elmore

Progressive changes in the glycoprotein glue of Argiope trifasciata capture threads during orb web construction
Brent Opell, Sarah Stellwagen

The defensive silk enigma: The effects of humidity on the properties of atypical aggregate gland secretions in the Western Widow Spider (Latrodectus hesperus)
*Jacob White, Weston Young, Aaron Corbit, David Nelsen

Group Photo
Follow the student volunteers to the steps of Huntley Hall.


Session 7: William Shear mini-symposium
Organizer and Moderator: Marshal Hedin

Marshal Hedin

Phylogenomics of the enigmatic Fumontana deprehendor Shear 1977 (Opiliones: Triaenonychidae)
Shahan Derkarabetian

“Spiders of the Southern Appalachians” : Thirty years of araneid education in Highlands, NC
Sarah Stellwagen

Spiders with tales to tell
Paul Selden

Fertilization control via spermathecal morphology: opilionid mating from the female perspective
Mercedes Burns

Revisiting the role of silk in prey capture by nonaraneomorph spiders
Jason Bond, Vera Opatova, Marshal Hedin, Chris Hamilton

Poster Session
Main floor of Leyburn Library 3:00-5:00pm
Posters should be hung by 3:00pm. Poster titles and authors listed on page 15.
Coffee and snacks provided at the poster session.

Executive Committee Meeting
Elrod Commons, Chavis Boardroom, 5:30-7:30pm

Casual Night with Arachnids
Hillel House Room 101, 7:30-9:00pm

Persons wishing to present images should e-mail their presentation file to
Presentations should be limited to 10 minutes.

Wednesday, June 19

Session 8: Intraspecific evolution & biogeography
Moderator: Michael Brewer

Investigating the poly-paraphyly of North American camel spiders (Solifugae: Eremobatidae: Therobatinae) and their unique moveable palpal spines.
Erika L. García, Paula E. Cushing, Damien Laudier

Genomic and morphological divergence in oasis-dwelling Habronattus (Salticidae) from western North American deserts
Marshal Hedin, Brendan Boyer

Range-wide RADseq and mtDNA data reveal an extraordinary post-glacial range expansion in scorpions from the Mojave and Great Basin deserts
Carlos Santibanez-Lopez, Jef R. Jaeger, Matthew R. Graham

Stable isotope analysis and venom gland transcriptomics of ecologically divergent long-jawed orb weavers (Araneae: Tetragnathidae: Tetragnatha versicolor)
Michael Brewer, Zarif Hasan

A phylogeographic study of Liocranoides (Araneae: Zoropsidae) from Appalachian caves
Marc Milne, Erik Hart, Spencer Burton, Joel Williams, Kirk Zigler, Nathaniel Mann, Mary Yancey, Matthew Niemiller, Joshua Campbell

Species delimitation of the Antrodiaetus unicolor species complex using a 3RAD approach
*Lacie Newton, Jason Bond, James Starrett, Brent Hendrixson


Session 9: Ecology, diversity & life history
Moderator: Jen White

El Niño and variation in the social grouping tendency of the colonial orb-weaving spider, Metepeira spinipes: a long term study.
George Uetz, J. Andrew Roberts , Mark L. Tiemeier, Jenai Rutledge, Darius Pryzgoda

A “Wise” story with a modern twist: molecular untangling of spiders’ webs
Jason Schmidt

City of immigrants: a review of the introduced jumping spiders of New York City, with new data (Araneae, Salticidae)
Bruce Cutler, Matt Parr

A non-native ant-mimicking spider in western New York: habitat preferences, life history, and behavior
Jennifer Apple

A novel bacterial symbiont manipulates the reproduction of a Linyphiid spider, Mermessus fradeorum
*Laura Rosenwald, Jen A. White

Endosymbiotic bacteria are prevalent and diverse in agricultural spiders
Jen White, Alexander Styer, Laura C. Rosenwald, Meghan M. Curry, Kelton D. Welch, Kacie J. Athey, Eric G. Chapman

Macronutrient effects on juvenile jumping spider growth
Will Wiggins, Shawn Wilder


Session 10: Behavior I
Moderator: Ann Rypstra

Unraveling the genetic basis of the web-building behavior in Uloborus diversus
*Jeremiah Miller, Nick Wilkerson, Abel Corver, Andrew Gordus

Progress towards in-vivo 2-photon calcium imaging in the hackled orbweaver
Abel Corver, Nicolas Wilkerson, Jeremiah Miller, Andrew Gordus

Aromatherapy for spiders: volatile plant oils as repellents or attractants for preferred vegetation
Matthew Persons, Dante’ Dobbins

Anthropogenic selection:  assortative mating likely reduces gene flow between nearby populations of a wolf spider.
Ann Rypstra

Reverse-engineering scorpion [ectines: the making of a navigational algorithm
Douglas Gaffin, Albert Musaelian

Scaring the silk out of spiders: The use of defensive silk in response to threatening, biological stimuli in the western widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus)
Aaron Corbit, Rotinsulu, Alphie; Nelsen, David


Session 11: Behavior II
Moderator: Alexander Berry

Risk assessment and the effects of learning walks on the defensive behavior repertoire in the southern scorpion, Vaejovis carolinianus.
David Nelsen, Chad N. Harty, Emily M. David, Joseph B. Hector, Aaron G. Corbit

The shy-bold syndrome: repeatability in a wolf spider
*Salvatore Sidoti, J. Andrew Roberts

Kin recognition in two species of cellar spiders, (Pholcidae), and its effects on inter- and-intra-specific predation of spiderlings
*Alexander Berry, Ann Rypstra

Business Meeting


Evans Dining Hall 5:30-10:00pm
Silent auction and reception begin at 5:30pm.
Dinner begins at 7:10pm.
Awards ceremony and dancing follow dinner.

Thursday, June 20

 Field Trip

Natural Bridge State Park or Devil’s Marbleyard
Bus loading will begin at 9:00am on Washington Street in front of Lee House.

Individuals signed up for the field trip may choose to get off the bus at Natural Bridge State Park (easy to moderate hiking) or continue to Devil’s Marbleyard (moderate to strenuous hiking). Entry to the State Park will cost $6-$8 onsite ($6 if at least 10 people choose the State Park). Tickets to the nearby Natural Bridge Caverns are also available at the State Park.

Conference attendees have permission to collect arachnids in Natural Bridge State Park, but must abide by the following guidelines:

  • Collection activities will be limited to Blue Ridge Trailhead and area near group camp.
  • All retained specimens will reside in university or museum collections.
  • A species inventory of collected specimens will be compiled and shared with the Park Manager and District Resource Specialist.
    • Please email Nadia Ayoub, with a list of any species collected at the Park as soon as possible following the field trip.

Shuttles to Roanoke Airport

Vans will load and depart from Washington Street in front of Lee House. Departure times will be announced during the conference. Additionally, individuals who completed a travel form and requested a shuttle should have received an e-mail with departure times.

On-campus housing checkout by 10:00am

A student will be stationed outside of the laundry room on the second floor of Gaines from 8:00-10:00am Thursday, June 20 and Friday, June 21. Please return keys and swipe cards to the student on your departure date. All linens provided by the university should be placed in the appropriate bins in the laundry room.