A REAL life spiderman is on a mission to get some good press for arachnids.
Professor Richard J Pearce is associate professor for Animal Ecology and Biodiversity Research at Warwickshire College and University Centre (WCUC).
Professor Pearce, who is based at Moreton Morrell College, is a nationally-renowned spider expert, and runs his research programme from a laboratory at the college.
He has recently been involved in a global collaboration project which explored representation, and misrepresentation, of spiders in the media.
And he has just been named on the editorial review board for newly-launched scientific journal ‘Frontiers in Arachnid Science’.
He said: “We have more than 670 species of spider in the UK and over 50,000 worldwide which have been identified and confirmed. Moreover, spiders are only one of several orders of arachnid, many of which are poorly represented in the research literature.”
Professor Pearce has also served on the Council of the British Arachnological Society and his involvement with international societies sees his expertise impact on a range of projects across the globe.
Since taking the research position at Moreton Morrell College, his research has included contributions to the understanding of arachnid ecology, with several new discoveries reported from the Indian subcontinent – including being part of the team that reported the bizarre jumping spider, Afraflacilla, for the first time in Kolkata.
He is currently focusing on a long-term research project that investigates the ecological impact of solar farm installations, assessing the consequences and benefits from a biodiversity standpoint. He has also been out and about collecting field data as part of a new study into urban ecology, helping learn more about how we can live more sensitively alongside wildlife.
Visit www.frontiersin.org/journals/arachnid-science to fnd out more about Frontiers in Arachnid Science.