Palpimanoid Spiders
Hannah Marie Wood
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Download up-to-date CV here****


Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Advisors: Rosemary Gillespie and Charles Griswold

M.Sc. San Francisco State University
Ecology and Systematics
Advisor: Greg Spicer and Charles Griswold

B.A. University of California, Berkeley
English Literature, emphasis in Post-Modern Literature

Professional Experience

2013-2014. NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Davis and the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, working with Peter Wainwright and Dula Parkinson.

2012-2013. Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, Copenhagen University, Postdoctoral Researcher, working with Nikolaj Scharff.

2004-2011. California Academy of Science, Entomology Dept., Graduate Assistant
Duties include performing genetic sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of molecular data, training students in research techniques, performing research for the Arachnology Tree of Life project by preparing and imaging specimens using an AutoMontage digital system and a scanning electron microscope

2005. Spicer Lab at San Francisco State University, Laboratory Assistant
Extracted DNA and performed PCRs on drosophila specimens

2003-2005. Presidio Bee Inventory Survey, Graduate Researcher
Organized native bee inventory study for the Presidio Trust and Golden Gate National Recreation Area, set up field sites, collected, pinned and sorted specimens to morphospecies, guided undergraduate students

2002. California Academy of Sciences Entomology Department, Laboratory Assistant
Pinned specimens, entered data, contributed to overall upkeep of the collection

2001. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Volunteer Ranger
Informed visitors of the National Park’s geological, biological and cultural resources by leading guided hikes and working at the visitor center

1995. Santa's Village Pixie
Facilitated interactions between Santa and the world's children, helped Santa organize for the holiday season, passed out candy canes, took reindeer on walks

International Field Expeditions

2013. Chile

2011. South Africa, New Zealand, Philippines

2009. Chile, Germany & Denmark, Australia

2008. Madagascar, New Zealand, Chile

2005. South Africa, Madagascar, New Zealand

Teaching Experience

2011. University of California, Berkeley, Graduate Student Instructor
Spider Biology

2010. University of California, Berkeley, Graduate Student Instructor
Spider Biology

2004. San Francisco State University, Graduate Student Instructor
Insect Taxonomy

2003. San Francisco State University, Graduate Student Instructor
General biology course


Grants and Fellowships

2013. National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology: Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Engineering. Grant working with Peter Wainwright at UC Davis and Dula Parkinson at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Advance Light Synchrotron to understand engineering principles of the trap-jaw mechanism in spiders.

2009. National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, $14,645
Grant awarded to image amber fossils using X-ray Computed Tomography

2008. National Science Foundation East Asian & Pacific Summer Institutes, New Zealand
Grant to perform research for two months working with Robert Jackson and Simon Pollard at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

2008. Julius H. Freitag Fellowship, Organisms and Environment Departmental Award, $1000

2010, 2009, 2008 & 2007. Walker Fund, Essig Museum of Entomology, $1,000
Grant awarded for expedition to Australia (2007 award) and to Europe (2008 award)

2010, 2009, 2008 & 2007. Exline-Frizzel Fund, California Academy of Science, $2,500

2007. Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research, American Philosophical Society, $1,000
Grant awarded for expedition to Australia

2007. Sigma Xi Grant, University of California, Berkeley Chapter, $500
Grant awarded for expedition to Australia

2004. Graduate Fellowship, California Academy of Sciences, $12,000

2003. Presidio Trust/Golden Gate National Recreation Area Grant, $12,000
Received to perform an inventory study on native bees in restored sand dune areas

2003. Robert K. Maxwell Scholarship, San Francisco State University, $3,000


Peer Reviewed Publications


In review: Wood, H.M., Parkinson, D.Y., Griswold, C.E., Gillespie, R.G., Elias, D.O. In review. Need for speed: extremely rapid predatory strikes evolved repeatedly in trap-jaw spiders. PNAS. Submitted: November 21, 2014. In review: December 15, 2014.

Accepted: Wood, H.M., Gillespie, R.G., Griswold, C.E., Wainwright, P.C. Accepted. Why is Madagascar special? The extraordinarily slow evolution of pelican spiders (Araneae, Archaeidae). Evolution. Accepted: November 19, 2014.

Wood, H.M, Matzke, N.J., Gillespie, R.G., Griswold, C.E. 2013. Treating fossils as terminal taxa in divergence time estimation reveals ancient vicariance patterns in the Palpimanoidea spiders. Systematic Biology 62:264-284 PDF

Wood, H.M, Griswold, C.E., Gillespie, R.G. 2012. Phylogenetic placement of pelican spiders (Archaeidae, Araneae), with insight into evolution of the “neck” and predatory behaviors of the superfamily Palpimanoidea. Cladistics 28:598–626 PDF

Griswold, C., Wood, H.M., Carmichael, A. 2012. The lace web spiders (Araneae, Phyxelididae) of Madagascar: phylogeny, biogeography and taxonomy. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 164:728–810

Wood, H.M. 2008. A revision of the assassin spiders of the Eriauchenius gracilicollis group, a clade of spiders endemic to Madagascar (Araneae: Archaeidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 152:255-296  PDF

Wood, H.M., Griswold, C.E., Spicer, G.S. 2007. Phylogenetic relationships within an endemic group of Malagasy ‘assassin spiders’ (Araneae, Archaeidae): ancestral character reconstruction, convergent evolution and biogeography. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 45:612-619  PDF

Report: Wood, H., Moore, V., Fenter, C., *Culpepper, M., *Nicolloff, J., Hafernick, J. 2005. Bee Diversity in Restored Habitats in the Presidio San Francisco. Presidio Trust, San Francisco, CA. * = undergraduate.


2014. Society for the Study of Evolution, Raleigh, North Carolina: “Why is Madagascar special? Diversification patterns in pelican spiders”

2013. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Austin, Texas: “Evolution of a novel trait in pelican spiders”

2012. European Congress of Arachnology, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Presentation: "Treating fossils as terminal taxa in divergence time estimation reveals ancient vicariance patterns in the Palpimanoidea spiders"

2012. Evolution, Ottawa, Canada
Presentation: "Treating fossils as terminal taxa in divergence time estimation reveals ancient vicariance patterns in the Palpimanoidea spiders"

2011. American Arachnology Society, Portland, Oregon
Awarded Best Student Presentation: "The evolution of a complex, novel structure, the trap-jaw mechanism in spiders (Mecysmaucheniidae, Araneae)"

2010. Canadian Entomology Society, Vancouver, Canada
Invited speaker: "Evolution of Stealth Versus Speed Strategies of Prey Capture in Pelican and Trap-Jaw Spiders (Araneae: Mecysmaucheniidae, Archaeidae)"

2010. 18th International Congress of Arachnology, Siedlce, Poland 
Awarded Best Student Presentation: "Archaeid and mecysmaucheniid spiders: phylogeny, biogeography and evolution of the carapace shape"

2009. Evolution, Moscow, Idaho
Presentation: "Assassin spiders: biogeography, morphological novelty and predatory behaviors"

2007. 17th International Congress of Arachnology, Sao Pedro, Brazil
Presentation: "Phylogenetic Relationships within an endemic group of Malagasy assassin spiders (Archaeidae, Araneae)"

  Popular Science Articles  

2012, Natural History Museum of Denmark
Article for popular science museum magazine

California Academy of Sciences Member Publication, Summer, 2006 PDF

Live, California Academy of Sciences Magazine, Fall, 2008 PDF

  Natural History Museum Exhibits and Presentations  

2012, Natural History Museum of Denmark
Involved in creating public floor spider exhibit, where my research is also presented

2011, California Academy of Sciences
Recorded presentation on the public floor, available here.

2010, California Academy of Sciences
Presentation on public floor that can be viewed online: "Assassin Spider from Around the World"

2009, Bone Room, Berkeley, California
Presentation at natural history store about current research

2009, California Academy of Science Nightlife
Presentation on public floor: "Cryptic Hunters: the tiny world of assassin spiders"

California Academy of Sciences' expeditions to Madagascar. Science Now