This introductory through to beginner online course will introduce you to some of our planet’s most misunderstood invertebrates, introducing aspects of spider biology and ecology and it aims to give learners the skills and confidence before delving into species identification.

This course introduces learners to the general body plan of a spider, their ecological roles within ecosystems and discusses the array of webs our UK species can produce. We also delve into how spiders have influenced human cultures and technology globally.

Tutor: Dave Willis

Dave Willis is currently employed as a project officer by the Newt Conservation Partnership, and works to create ponds and associated habitats in Bedfordshire. Prior to this, he was 'People and Wildlife Officer' at Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. This followed a career change from many years as a Probation Officer, during which time he ran conservation training courses for staff and prisoners at a number of prisons in England and Wales. He is the chair and founder of Hertfordshire Amphibian and Reptile Group  (HertsARG), and currently chair of Bedfordshire Reptile and Amphibian Group (BedsRAG). He was a council member of the British Herpetological Society (BHS) for eleven years and has recently resurrected London Amphibian and Reptile Group (LARG). His other natural history interests include arachnology (former county recorder for Hertfordshire), bird ringing, bat care, badger rescue and monitoring, and paleontology. He is currently designing and testing a monitoring scheme for invasive crayfish across Herfordshire.

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