The Holwell Lab

Welcome to the Holwell research group based at The University of Auckland, New Zealand. We use a variety of approaches to investigate the behaviour, natural history, and morphology of  terrestrial invertebrates.

I am seeking a short-term postdoctoral fellow to take part in project funded by the Royal harvestmen2_smSociety of New Zealand’s Marsden Fund, and based at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. The project examines the evolution of exaggerated and polymorphic male weaponry in New Zealand Neopilionid harvestmen. The chelicerae of males are enormous, sometimes weighing as much as the rest of the body. They vary among species, but more interestingly, also within species, showing a spectacular polymorphism. Males can either possess greatly elongated narrow jaws, broad robust jaws (both used as weapons), or can show reduced female-like morphology suggesting an alternative mating strategy. The postdoctoral fellow would be involved in morphological analysis using 3D geometric morphometric techniques, and statistical analysis including comparative phylogenetic methods and allometry. As a short-term position (6 months full time or longer part time), this position may be ideal for somebody having recently completed their PhD, or ‘between postdocs’. Ideally, I need somebody with strong analytical and statistical skills (using R ) and who has a background in morphological evolution but I welcome applications from anyone with an evolutionary ecology / behavioural ecology background, who is enthusiastic about immersing themselves in an exciting project in beautiful New Zealand. Please send an application letter, CV and names of 2-3 referees to Greg Holwell at

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