My project explores how sociality, and particularly the concomitant inbreeding displayed in social species, affects the ecophysiological tolerances of Stegodyphus spiders. I will be conducting ecophysiological experiments on social and subsocial Stegodyphus to establish the importance of adaptation vs. phenotypic plasticity in allowing spiders to withstand their environmental extremes. Field and some lab work will be conducted in South Africa in collaboration with Susana Clusella-Trullas (http://www.clusellatrullas.blogspot.com/) at Stellenbosch University. I am also collaborating with Marija Majer in modelling species distributions and using this information to inform on the effects of environment on the origins of sociality.
My background spans a wide variety of organisms and topics, and has mainly dealt with distribution patterns and their determinants at large spatial scales. I started my postgraduate degree at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, where I studied nestedness patterns on Southern Ocean Islands and body size distribution patterns of South African birds, as well as the importance of protected areas for conserving species. I went on to complete my PhD at Aarhus University, where I looked at distribution and diversity patterns of African plants and vegetation types. A description of my past work and publications can be found here: http://email@example.com
Dr. Michelle Greve is a senior lecturer at the University of Pretoria. You can read about here current research here.