Undergraduate Members


Jenna DeNicola – Honors Project – Comparative social behavior in Australian huntsman spiders.  Previous projects have included a collaborative project on kin recognition patterns in amblypygids and assisting with Ariel Zimmerman’s Honors project involving growth and survival of several huntsman species in solitary and group-living situations.  Jenna is in charge of animal care in the lab and a prolific tarantula collector.

Chung ‘Albert’ Chiu – Honors Project – Running speed and metabolic rates in Australian huntsman spiders.  Albert has previously assisted on the project on survival and growth rates in solitary and group situations.  Former animal care assistant.

Anthony Auletta – Project – How many Delena cancerides spiders really share prey at a time?  Comparing color changes and sharing patterns in social spiders.  Anthony was a collaborator on the kin recognition in amblypygid project.  Anthony has made outstanding signs for the Arthropod Zoo at Insectapalooza for the last 2 years.  Anthony is a scorpion afficianado.


Ariel Zimmerman – Honors Project: Assessing the costs of group living:  Comparing metabolic physiology and growth in social and solitary spiders.  Winner of the Paul Scheur Award for Academic Excellence and Research and one of ‘25-Most Impressive Seniors’ at Cornell.   Ariel is now pursuing graduate work at the University of Florida in Dr. Jamie Gillooly’s lab with the assistance of an NSF GRFP.

Mike Avery – Honors Project: Investigations into colony identity in a social spider: Does Delena cancerides utilize chemical cues to distinguish between kin and non-kin? Mike is now pursuing graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania on effects of global warming on invertebrate and vertebrate fauna in Greenland.

Claire Rittschof – Dominance and conflict in Delena colonies.  Currently at the University of Florida working on the Golden Orb weaver, Nephila clavipes, in Dr. Jane Brockmann’s lab.

Frank Castelli – Early warning of prey and predators in amblypgyids through use of their whip in amblypygids.  Frank is completing a masters degree on social vole genetic relationships at the University of Miami – Ohio.  Frank has been the Youth Coordinator on three Cornell Adult University tours to Tanzania and Panama with Dr. Rayor.

Rachel Walsh – Honors Project:  Social Dynamics in a Whip Spider (Order Amblypygi, Family Phrynichidae: Damon diadema) and an Unusual Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae: Delena cancerides).  Cornell Presidential Research Scholar.   Rachel is studying tamarin monkeys as a graduate student at the University of California – Berkeley in Dr. Eileen Lacey’s lab.

Lisa Taylor – Honors Thesis: Social Behavior, Aggregation, and Mother-Offspring Interactions in two species of captive Tailless Whip Scorpions (Order Amblypygi: Phrynus marginemaculata and Damon diadema).  Lisa is exploring how color patterns affect sexual selection in jumping spiders at the University of Arizona in Dr. Kevin McGraw’s lab.