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Biological Sciences

College of Arts & Sciences

Thomas Jones

Thomas C. Jones 

Associate Professor
423-439-6930 /
Brown Hall, Room 307

Research Interest:

I have a broad-based research program in the areas of animal behavior, ecology, population genetics, and neuroethology. Specifically, I am interested in the evolution of cooperation, sociality and dispersal strategies. My model organism is The northern social spider Anelosimus studiosus. This is among the most dynamic social systems found in nature, in that the spiders vary in their degree of sociality in response to latitude and microhabitat. I am exploiting the variation in this system to develop a deeper understanding of the selective forces involved with, and the mechanisms underneath, the evolution of sociality. Our group takes a multifaceted approach to this work including: computer modeling, field and laboratory experimentation, and using molecular markers to analyze the genetic structure of populations. We are also now beginning to explore the effects of various neurotransmitters on spider behavior. I am also interested in science education, developing interactive inquiry-based simulations to illustrate ecological principles.

For additional information, please visit Dr. Jones' Laboratory Facebook page!

Dr. Jones' Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications:

Jones, TC, TS Akoury, CK Hauser, & D Moore. 2011. Evidence of circadian rhythm in antipredator behaviour in the orb-weaving spider Larinioides cornutus. Animal Behaviour 82:549-555.

Jones, TC, TS Akoury, CK Hauser, MF Neblett II, BJ Linville, AA Edge, NO Weber. 2011. Octopamine and serotonin have opposite effects on antipredator behavior in the orb-weaving spider, Larinioides cornutus. J Comp Physiol A. 197:819-829.

Jones, TC, JN Pruitt, & SE Riechert. 2010 Fecundity and reproductive success in a socially polymorphic spider: social individuals experience depressed fitness when in isolation. Ecological Entomology 35:684-690.

Jones, TC & SE Riechert. 2008. Patterns of reproductive success associated with social structure and microclimate in a spider system. Animal Behaviour 76:2011-2019.

Jones, TC, SE Riechert SE Dalrymple & PG Parker. 2007. Fostering model explains environmental variation in levels of sociality in a spider system. Animal Behaviour 73:195-204.


  • Biology for Science Majors III (BIOL1130)
  • Invertebrate Zoology (BIOL3460)
  • Arachnology (BIOL4887/5887)
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