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Miquel A. Arnedo, DrBiodiversity Research Institute, University of Barcelona, Spain
He is a systematic and evolutionary biologist, always been amazed at the extraordinary diversity of life. His research focuses on inventorying biodiversity and unraveling the processes that shape temporal and spatial dynamics of life. He studies biological evolution on a phylogenetic framework, boosting traditional natural history studies with modern molecular tools to infer genealogical information, delimit species and accelerate biological inventories. He conducts most of his research on isolated ecosystems (e.g. oceanic islands, caves and mountain tops), which provide test-tube like conditions for the study of evolution, and uses spiders and related arthropods as model systems.
Charles Haddad, DrDepartment of Zoology & Entomology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Senior lecturer in entomology with research focusing on spider systematics (Afrotropical Corinnidae, Trachelidae and Salticidae), spider diversity and ecology in South Africa, and the biology of termitophagous and myrmecophagous spiders. He has supervised several MSc and PhD student and is currently involved in supervising further MSc and PhD students. He has published more than 80 papers and described more than 170 species and 11 new genera of spiders as new to science. He is the current Chairman of the African Arachnological Society (AFRAS) and co-hosted the 2005 and 2014 colloquiums of the society. He also is the assistant project manager of the South African National Survey of Arachnida (SANSA), is on the council of the International Society of Arachnology (ISA), and serves on the Specialist Board of the World Spider Catalogue (WSC).
Peter Jäger, DrSenckenberg Research Institute, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Scientific curator for Arachnida and Myriapoda. His research focuses mainly on the taxonomy of spiders (Sparassidae worldwide; Araneae in SE Asia and Europe). He published more than 130 scientific papers and described more than 300 spider species as new to science. Although including molecular analyses in several papers his main interest is morphology and its change during the evolution. He supervised more than ten students (PhD, diploma, Msc) from Germany, Laos, Brazil and Albania. Jäger founded in 2012 the Asian Society of Arachnology and hosted congresses in Germany and Laos. He was president of the German speaking Arachnological Society (2004–2010), council member of the International Society of Arachnology (2004 –2010), and is associate editor (Zootaxa) and editorial board member (Acta Arachnologica Sinica). Furthermore, he is co-editor of the World Spider Catalog and expert board member of ‘Spiders of Europe’. He conducted several expeditions and research travels to China and Taiwan (6), Laos (12), Thailand (2), India (2), Singapore (2), Malaysia (2), and Myanmar.
Shuqiang Li, DrInstitute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Professor of Zoology and head for Department of Invertebrate Zoology. He earned his BSc (1985), M Sc (1988) degree in China and PhD in Germany. He was head of the National Zoological Museum between 1999-2007, and editor in chief for Zoological Systematics between 2010-2015. His research seeks to understand how geological events (e.g. Tethyan changes and Qinghai-Tibet Plateau uplifting) influence the diversification of species and phenotypes and how, in turn, animals adapt to ecological changes. He addresses these questions using a combination of fieldwork, morphological taxonomy, molecular systematics, and phylogenomics. He published more than 300 scientific papers and described more than 500 spider species as new to science. He supervised 25 PhD students from China, Vietnam and Italia, of them 15 are full professors and associate professors now.
Cristina Rheims, DrButantan Institute, São Paulo, Brazil
Scientific researcher at the Butantan Institute in São Paulo, Brazil. Received her MSc (2002) and PhD (2007) in zoology from the University of São Paulo and a post-doc in spider systematics at the Butantan Institute. Her main taxonomic expertise is with the spider families Scytodidae, Hersiliidae, Oonopidae and Sparassidae but she has also worked sporadically on several other spider families and on Opiliones. She has published over 60 papers and currently coordinates a project on the systematics of the subfamily Sparianthinae (Sparassidae), funded by the Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa de São Paulo (FAPESP). She is on the editorial board of the World Spider Catalog and is an associate editor of the periodical Zookeys. She is also a council member of the International Society of Arachnology (2010-2016).
Cor J. Vink, DrCanterbury Museum, Christchurch, New Zealand
Cor Vink is Curator of Natural History at Canterbury Museum and adjunct senior lecturer in the Ecology Department at Lincoln University, New Zealand. His main research interest is the systematics and taxonomy of New Zealand spiders, but he is also interested in taxa shared with Australia and other Gondwanan areas. He co-authored the book “Spiders of New Zealand: Annotated family key and species list” as well as over 70 other papers and a photographic guide to New Zealand spiders. He has also worked on spider ecology, biosecurity and biological control. Vink has been Lycosoidea editor for Zootaxa since 2009, and is also senor editor of New Zealand Journal of Zoology, editor for ZooKeys, editor of Records of the Canterbury Museum and is on the editorial boards of Fauna of New Zealand and New Zealand Entomologist. He advises PhD and MSc students on spider systematics, taxonomy and ecology.
Wolfgang Nentwig, DrInstitute for Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Professor of ecology with broad interests in agroecology (set aside, augmentation of beneficials, renewable resource plants, transgenic crops), biological control of pests and weeds and the ecology of invasive species. Special interests in the ecology of spiders (biochemistry and ecology of spider venom, macroecology of spiders, spider systematics, barcoding). Since 1998, editor in chief of the electronic European spider identification key, since 2013 organizing board of the World Spider Catalog, since 2014 president of the European Society of Arachnology. More than 20 national and international major grant projects. 19 book publications (authored, co-authored, edited, co-edited), 25 book chapters, about 200 journal publications (ISI standards). Supervision of more than 100 BSc, MSc and PhD students.