The research in my laboratory focuses largely, but not exclusively, on the ecology and behavior of spiders. Spiders are major predators in desert ecosystems. We are interested in their function as natural enemies in desert agricultural ecosystems as well as in natural desert habitats. This research has implications for conservation of biodiversity and provision of ecosystem services.
Evolution of social behaviors is another main research topic, including group living, maternal care of young and sexual behavior. We use observations in controlled laboratory conditions as well as in the field to unravel the selective processes that favor such traits as sexual cannibalism, extended maternal care of young and the varying degrees of sociality in spiders.