Alissa Anderson

Ph.D. Candidate

School of Biological Sciences
Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior


  • M.S. Biology, Ball State University (2013)
  • B.A. Summa Cum Laude, Biology, Muskingum University (2011)

Research Interest

My research takes advantage of the incredible natural histories of spiders to understand how (i) foraging strategies and (ii) social interactions influence the evolution of morphological adaptations and extreme mating systems. My Master’s thesis research examined sex-limited color change in females of the crab spider Misumenoides formosipes and its relation to foraging success. Within my dissertation research I have become extremely interested in how and why spiders display such diverse mating systems. I am currently studying the mating system of the nursery web spider, Pisaurina mira, where males wrap up the female with their silk prior to copulation. Specifically, I am exploring the costs and benefits of this mating system in both sexes to understand how sexual conflict influences social interactions and the evolution of mating systems.

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