Dr Christina Joelle Painting

PhD Biological Sciences

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Research Fellow


I’m a behavioural ecologist working primarily on arthropods including beetles, harvestmen and spiders, but I have a broad interest in many aspects of natural history. My main research focus to date has been on understanding the evolution of exaggerated traits, born out of a fascination with trying to understand more about peculiar-looking and previously unstudied species. I'm currently working on weapon evolution in long legged harvestmen, using a combination of behavioural experiments, genetics, and morphometrics.

Areas of expertise

Behavioural Ecology, Sexual Selection, Animal Weaponry, Morphometrics

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Painting, C. J., Nicholson, C. C., Bulbert, M. W., Norma-Rashid, Y., & Li, D. (2017). Nectary feeding and guarding behavior by a tropical jumping spider. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 15 (8), 469-470. 10.1002/fee.1538
  • Wee, R., Norma-Rashid, Y., Li, D., & Painting, C. (2017). Courtship and male-male interaction behaviour of Orsima ichneumon (Simon, 1901), an ant-mimicking jumper spider (Arachnida: Salticidae). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 65, 426-439.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40520
  • Painting, C. J., Myers, S., Holwell, G. I., & Buckley, T. R. (2017). Phylogeography of the New Zealand giraffe weevil Lasiorhynchus barbicornis (Coleoptera: Brentidae): A comparison of biogeographic boundaries. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 122 (1), 13-28. 10.1093/biolinnean/blx051
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Greg Holwell, Thomas Buckley
  • Painting, C. J., Chang, C.-C., Seah, J. F., & Li, D. (2017). Condition dependence of female-specific UV-induced fluorescence in a jumping spider. Animal Behaviour, 127, 233-241. 10.1016/j.anbehav.2017.03.022
  • Herberstein, M., Painting, C., & Holwell, G. (2017). Scramble competition polygyny in terrestrial arthropods. Advances in the Study of Behavior, 49, 237-295. 10.1016/bs.asb.2017.01.001
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Greg Holwell
  • Holwell, G. I., Allen, P. J. D., Goudie, F., Duckett, P. E., & Painting, C. J. (2016). Male density influences mate searching speed and copulation duration in millipedes (Polydesmida: Gigantowales chisholmi). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 70 (8), 1381-1388. 10.1007/s00265-016-2145-8
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/30696
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Greg Holwell
  • Painting, C. J., Splinter, W., Callander, S., Maricic, T., Peso, M., & Backwell, P. R. (2016). Ladies first: Coerced mating in a fiddler crab. PLoS One, 11 (6).10.1371/journal.pone.0155707
  • Painting, C. J., Rajamohan, G., Chen, Z., Zeng, H., & Li, D. (2016). It takes two peaks to tango: The importance of UVB and UVA in sexual signalling in jumping spiders. Animal Behaviour, 113, 137-146. 10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.12.030


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Primary office location

COMMERCE A - Bldg 114
Level 1, Room 115
New Zealand

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