Professor Dr. Yael Lubin

Alfried Krupp Senior Fellow 
(April - September 2018) 

  • Born 1945 in Cambridge, Massachusetts USA
  • Study of Zoology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, Columbia University and the University of Florida

Fellow project: „Reproductive Morphology and Physiology of a Sexually Cannibalistic Spider“

In his treatise “The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex” (1871), Charles Darwin postulated that some traits of animals and plants were favoured owing to their contribution to mating, rather than survival. Nowadays, sexual selection is understood to be a powerful force in shaping behaviour and morphology of organisms. Sexual selection can be via competition within a sex for access to mates or by one sex choosing a mate based on its displays or other characteristics indicative of its quality. Commonly, males compete by various means, while females are choosy. In Brown Widow spiders, males are much smaller than females and are frequently cannibalized during mating, a behavior that exerts strong selection on males to choose the best mate. My aim during this fellowship is to study the courtship and mating behavior, and the morphology of reproductive organs in Brown Widow spiders.  I hope to advance our understanding of how sexual selection acts on morphological and behavioural traits in animals. The research is in collaboration with Professor Dr. Gabriele Uhl, Zoological Institute & Museum of the University of Greifswald.