Silk properties in the Tasmanian cave spider Hickmania troglodytes

A collaborative project with Niall Doran at the University of Tasmania and Dakota Piorkowski at Tunghai University will investigate the influence of natural history traits on silk properties in a large, ancient, cave-dwelling spider; the Austrachylid, Hickmania troglodytes. For more on an outreach program associated with the cave-dwelling spider, see Niall’s work with Expedition Class…

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Spider Sticky Thread Property Variability

We are continuing our research of spider sticky thread property variability in orb web spiders and redback spider sticky threads conducting further research into the biochemistry of the different glues and how this affects its variability in response to nutrient deprivation.

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Physiological and Behavioural Aspects of Spider Web Variation

A current Hons Project by Matthew Hasemore (co-supervised by Mike Kasumovic and Penny Martens) is investigating the role of metabolic variation on spider web plasticity in response to variation in prey types. Additional projects include an ongoing investigation of the mechanisms inducing nutrient-mediated spider web plasticity and the consequences of architectural variations on prey capture…

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Spidrion Expression and Spider Silk Properties

Collaborative project with Mike Kasumovic, Aditya Rawal, James Hook and Penny Martens, UNSW, and Jeff Yarger at Arizona State University. In this project we investigate, using advanced techniques such as NMR and X-ray diffraction, how the processes of spidrion (MaSp1 and MaSp2) expression and spinning processes acting in the silk gland influence the properties of…

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