Research Personnel

Dr. Maydianne Andrade


Professor Maydianne CB Andrade
Principal InvestigatorPresident, Canadian Black Scientists NetworkE-mail:

Equity & Outreach website:

Research Associates and Post-Doctoral Researchers

Dr. Luciana Baruffaldi
Research Associate
and Lab Director

Dr. Luciana Baruffaldi (BSc, MSc Montevideo, Uruguay, PhD UofT 2015).  Interests include: Mechanisms, functions and diversity of sex pheromones; plasticity; alternative mating tactics in a range of spiders. Luciana’s work spans the genus Latrodectus and incorporates field and laboratory approaches to systematic and contextual variation in pheromone function, communication, mating behaviour, plasticity and fitness effects of novel mating tactics, particularly immature mating. Luciana completed her PhD in the Andrade lab in 2015.

Check out Luciana’s Publications here (Google Scholar); or here (ResearchGate)


Dr. Lenka Sentenská.
Marie Curie Post-doctoral Fellow

 Dr. Lenka Sentenská (PhD Masaryk University). Lenka arrived on 8 February from Czechia to commence a 2 -year term as a Marie Curie Post-doctoral Fellow (co-supervised by Prof. Gabriele Uhl, from the University of Greifswald). Interests include: Animal behaviour, mating tactics, communication, and morphology in a range of invertebrates (spiders, scorpions). Lenka is particularly interested in novel mating tactics, particularly immature mating in Latrodectus geometricus.

Check out Lenka’s Publications here (Research Gate);  or here (Google Scholar)

Find Lenka on twitter here


Catherine Scott

Dr. Catherine Scott


Dr. Catherine Scott (2015 – 2019) (BSc Queens, MSc Simon Fraser).

Catherine’s PhD thesis in the Andrade lab examined links between demographic context, alternative reproductive tactics, and sexual signalling in Western Black Widows (Latrodectus hesperus). The work included extensive longitudinal field work on a wild population, reinforced with experimental work in the field and lab to ask questions about mate searching, and alternative mating tactics in nature. As a post-doc in the lab, Catherine is writing up a number of different projects, while collaborating on new work with Lenka. Her counsel on statistics is also highly valued by her labmates! Catherine will soon move to McGill to commence her work as an NSERC post-doctoral fellow with Prof. Chris Buddle.

Check out Catherine’s writing on: spiderbytes, twitter: @Cataranea and publications here.


PhD students

Charmaine Condy

Charmaine Condy. PhD candidate

Charmaine Condy (September 2012—present)BSc, MSc UT, PhD candidateInterests: Evolutionary relationships, molecular phylogenetics & proteomics. Charmaine’s work uses molecular tools to establish evolutionary relationships among Latrodectus species and test hypotheses about evolutionary effects of ecological variation.
Charmaine is co-supervised by Prof. Nathan Lovejoy.Check out Charmaine’s publications here (Google Scholar), or here (ResearchGate)E-mail:


Nishant Singh. PhD candidate.

Nishant Singh (BSc Pittsburg). (September 2015 to present). Nishant’s undergradaute research included an investigation of effects of morphology and behavioural type on mating behaviour of the Pennsylvania grass spider (Agelenopsis pennsylvanica). Current Interests: the evolution of social behaviour as viewed through the lens of early transitions to communal behaviour in Western Black widow spiders Latrodectus hesperus. Nishants work includes field and laboratory studies of behaviour, demographics, and molecular indicators of relatedness and connectivity among widely distributed populations.

Check out Nishant’s publications here Google Scholar), or here (ResearchGate)


Laini Tailor. PhD student

Laini Taylor (BSc UToronto).  Laini completed a research project in the Andrade lab during her undergraduate degree, with a focus on the relationship between multi-variate male phenotypes and alternative mating tactics in Phidippus clarus. After a couple of years on hiatus in the real world, we were pleased to welcome Laini back to the lab to start her PhD in September 2020.  Laini has made significant progress this year, with her thesis proposal already taking shape, one collaboration complete, and she is now running her first set of experiments for her thesis.

Sheena Fry

Sheena Fry. PhD candidate.

Sheena Fry (September 2011—present)BSc, MSc Memorial, PhD candidate.  Interests: Causes and consequences of male phenotypic variation. Sheena’s work on western black widows combines a multi-year field study with laboratory examinations of development and performance.E-mail:

Recent alums

Monica Mowery

Dr. Monica Mowery

Dr. Monica Mowery (2014 – 2019). BSc Tufts, PhD 2020.

Congratulations to Dr. Monica Mowery!  Monica is now working with Prof. Yael Lubin as a Zuckerman post-doctoral fellows at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Monica’s PhD thesis was a multi-variate analysis of hypotheses underlying biological invasions using two invasive Latrodectus spiders species as models (Latrodectus geometricus and Latrodectus hasselti).

Monica was co-supervised by Prof Andrew Mason .

Check out Monica’s research here.

Dr. Felix Beaudry, Post-doctoral Fellow

Dr. Felix Beaudry (PhD U Toronto, 2020).  Following defense of his PhD in the lab of Prof. Stephen Wright, Felix joined the Andrade lab during a 6-month ‘interstitial’ period before taking up his full-time post-doc. Felix  employed his bioinformatics expertise to collaborate on a number of ongoing projects, including transcriptomics across development (project led by PhD candidate Charmaine Condy), genomics of early social transitions (project led by PhD candidate Nishant Singh), and genetic assessment of paternity (project led by Dr. Lenka Sentenská).

Check out Felix’s  Publications here (Google Scholar) , and see his website for more information

Find Felix on twitter here


Research Personnel