University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

University of Kentucky Invertebrate Ecology Laboratory


Thomas WhitneyThomas Whitney

Graduate Research Assistant; M.S. Student


Department of Entomology
S-225 Agricultural Science Center N
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40546-0091
Ph: 859.257.2759
Fax: 859.323.1120

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  • M.S., Entomology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. Expected completion: Dec 2013.
  • B.S., Biology & Conc. in Environmental Studies, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. May 2011.


Research Interests

I am broadly interested in many aspects of arthropod ecology, especially predator-prey interactions. My research seeks to monitor temporal changes in spider food webs within the forest leaf litter. Since spiders are generally food limited and feed primarily according to the availability of their prey, they can ill afford to be too selective when they forage. The level of opportunistic feeding should fluctuate, however, as the prey community adjusts to seasonal climatic conditions. I am interested in tracking the strength of these predation responses to changes in prey availability throughout the year using molecular gut content analysis. Delineating patterns of spider foraging dynamics on a seasonal basis will provide valuable insight as to the role that these dominant predators play in the decomposer food web.



Major Advisor

James D. Harwood


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