About the project

Like it or not, we are surrounded by spiders. They are abundant, natural members of our ecosystems. As predators they eat a large amount of insects that may otherwise be eating our plants or possibly sucking our blood. Spiders adorn our world with beautiful webs, and provide a resource for discovery in the chemicals in their venoms and the biomaterials in their silk. The overwhelming majority of spiders are harmless to humans.

The goal of this project is to share information about the spiders that are generally found in Portland, Oregon, and specifically on the campus of Lewis & Clark College. The project began as part of a Fall 2010 Perspectives in Biology course that is designed to teach basic scientific inquiry to non-science majors. This iteration of the course was taught by Professor Greta Binford and focused on Biodiversity using arachnids (spiders and their relatives) as examples. Seventy students collected local spiders either on the campus of Lewis & Clark College, or in and around their homes in Portland. The students isolated DNA from the spiders, used PCR to amplify the Barcode gene CO1 (cytochrome oxidase 1), and photographed the spiders. We have compiled these photographs and made them available on this site with descriptions and links to further information about the species and groups we found. The students used the CO1 nucleotide sequence data to search databases to learn how sequence homology searching works, and to help with species IDs. Those sequence data are posted here alongside photographs of the animals.

We hope this information will foster appreciation of the little creatures with whom we share our world.

The following students participated in this project.

Tala Al-Mangour

Megan Alpine

Ella Antell

Ashley Beck

Emily Berger

Hannah Blacksin

Robert Bosworth

Barra Brown

Jason Buchanan

Adrienne Bugbee

Ava Busler

Katherine Chaberski

Garrett Chavis

Zoe Ching

Julia Condon

Margaret Crews

Parker Dane

Claire De Louraille de Lestaubiere

Erica Dimond

Natalie Eagan

Taylor Finch

Amy Fredericks

Andrew Frisina

Elysia Gabe

Zoe Garcia

Chelsea Garrett

Davida Grimes

Tyson Guajardo

Amanda Hefner

Zoe Henion

Hanna Hilliard

Richard Hunt

Jillian Johnson

Alyssa Kent

Carmelle Kniss

Joseph Kopp

Charles Krause

Lynsey Lacher

Caitlin Laughney

Elizabeth Leider

Dana Levin

Hannah McCain

Abigail McNamara

Maya Midgley

Jose Molina-Sefchick

Corinne Monaco

Ashley Morgan

John Mulroy

Zina Noel

Juliette Nolan

Kelsey Ostenaa

Savannah Prentiss

Allyson Rust

Megan Sadler

Anna Shumann

Taylor Simmons

Eliot Smith

Samantha Stein

Alisa Tanaka

Helen Vernier

Sara Villanueva

Neal Walker

Elana Webb

Luke Weinstein

Marcus Wells

Gail Wilcoxen

Courtney Williams

Anthony Zamora

Greta Binford

Associate Professor of Biology
Lewis & Clark
Bio-Psych Rm 224
503-768-7653 (office)
503-768-7658 (fax)

For design/technical inquiries about this project:

Jeremy McWilliams

Digital Services Coordinator
Lewis & Clark
Watzek Library

Anneliese Dehner

Metadata & Digital Projects Developer
Lewis & Clark
Watzek Library