Alternative reproductive tactics in a cheating spider

PhD defence, Friday 9 February 2018. Paolo Ghislandi.

2018.02.09 | Liselotte K Heller

Paolo Ghislandi

During his studies, Paolo Ghislandi explored how males employ different tactics to increase their mating success. Alternative reproductive tactics represent a hot topic in behavioural and evolutionary biology, as the causes underlying the choice of a particular tactic from a set of possible options are still poorly understood. Why do males behave the way they do?

Focusing on the nursery-web spider, Paolo Ghislandi investigated which tactics a male can employ to be accepted by females, what promotes their use, and which factors explain differences in tactic use among different spider populations.


The new research findings contribute to the understanding of how phenotypic variation is maintained in the context of reproduction and which are the evolutionary causes promoting the use of different tactics.

The PhD degree was completed at the Department of Bioscience, Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Friday, 9 February 2018 at 14.00
Place: Building 1540, room 229, 2nd floor, Genetics, Ecology and Evolution, Department of Bioscience, Ny Munkegade 114/116, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C.
Title of dissertation: Sexual selection and alternative reproductive tactics in the spider Pisaura mirabilis
Contact information: Paolo Giovanni Ghislandi, e-mail:, tel.: +39 3489793648
Members of the assessment committee:
Professor Jutta Schneider, Zoological Institute and Biocenter Grindel, University of Hamburg, Germany
Professor Andrea Pilastro, Biology Department, University of Padua, Italy
Professor Volker Loeschcke (chair), Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Denmark
Main supervisor:
Professor Trine Bilde, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Denmark
Doctor Cristina Tuni, Department of Biology II, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The dissertation is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520, rooms 128-134, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
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Revised 17.05.2018