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Grad Student Wins Award for Spider Study

Aug. 12, 2014

Elizabeth Herrera, a graduate student majoring in biology, is conducting research on embryonic spider development.

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Biology graduate student Elizabeth Herrera won second place for her research presentation on embryonic spider development at this summer's national meeting of the American Arachnological Society in Ohio.

Her research was recognized for its novel use of techniques, in which she has been working on developing a "universal" system for determining the stage of a developing spider. "I've been able to describe the black widow spider's embryo development from zygote formation to hatching," said Herrera. "I've also been able to see generalized similarities between different spider families' development, as well as some very intriguing differences."

Herrera also has captured time-lapse video of spider development from egg to hatchling, said faculty mentor Merri Lynn Casem, professor of biological science.

Tags:  Academics & Research