A newcomer spider is spreading rapidly in the Southeastern United States!
There were some early research done at University of Georgia. Two years ago, UGA ecologist Andy Davis found himself compelled to become a Jorō spider expert. He spoke about the shy spider in NPR and GPB interviews.
Recently, Southern Adventist University researchers in Collegedale, Tennessee, want to know how it might affect the area's native wildlife.
The jorō spider, a colorful species originating from East Asia, has become the elusive subject of a research team that includes David Nelsen, a biology professor at Southern, will share his research findings.
David R. Nelsen
Professor of Biology, Southern Adventist University
David grew up in the Chattanooga area and attended college at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. David then earned his Ph.D. from Loma Linda University (Loma Linda, CA) under the guidance of William (Bill) Hayes, where he studied how the western widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus) uses its venom and silk for defense and how venom composition changes throughout the lifetime of these spiders. Following a post-doc studying taphonomy and paleohistology of dinosaur bones, David returned to Chattanooga to take a faculty position at Southern Adventist University.
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