backResearcher Profile

John Spence

Job Title: Professor of Biological Sciences
Employer: Dept of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta
Further Education: Washington & Jefferson College (B.Sc.), University of Vermont (M.Sc.), University of British Columbia (Ph.D.).
Geographic focus of research: Alberta, British Columbia, Mexico, Kenya, Indonesia

Brief synopsis of current research:
My students and I work in three general areas bridging evolution and ecology:
1) structure and dynamics of arthropod populations,
2) integration of communities, especially those under anthropogenic influence and
3) the nature and evolution of arthropod species and their life-histories.
Our research program couples broad scientific objectives with the promise of shorter term applications in management and conservation of forests and wetlands. Work generally proceeds from a strong natural history base to develop experimental approaches to questions that apply to particular taxa. Generalization follows after common threads are discovered and confirmed experimentally.


Recent Publications:

Spence, J.R. 1989. The habitat templet and life history strategies of pondskaters (Heteroptera: Gerridae): reproductive potential, phenology and wing dimorphism. Canadian Journal of Zoology 67: 2432-2447.

Sperling, F.A.H. & J.R. Spence. 1991. Structure of an asymmetric hybrid zone between two water strider species (Hemiptera: Gerridae: Limnoporus). Evolution 45: 1370-83.

Spence, J.R. & N.M. Andersen. 1994. Biology of waterstriders: interactions between systematics and ecology. Annual Review of Entomology 39: 97-124.

Klingenberg, CP & JR Spence. 1997. On the role of body size for life history evolution. Ecological Entomology 22: 55-68.

Zimmermann, M & JR Spence. 1998. Phenology and life cycle regulation of the fishing spider, Dolomedes triton Walckenaer (Araneae, Pisauridae), in central Alberta. Canadian Journal of Zoology 76: 295-309.

Nothing is half so much fun as splashing around in a pond or stream along with the other creatures that live there. Of course, water is touted to be the environmental problem of the coming few decades.