Research Interests

I am mainly interested in faunistic, taxonomic and ecological questions concerning the spiders (Araneae) of the Ecoregion Caucasus.

My main intention is improving the study of spiders in the Caucasus by providing information hidden in poorly-available literature sources and making them available to anyone interested, e.g. in the project Caucasian Spiders – A faunistic database on the spiders of the Caucasus (Otto & Tramp 2006-2012). As a part of this support work, I help to provide determination information concerning Caucasian spiders in the web project Araneae – Spiders of Europe (Nentwig et al. 2012).

I am interested in making large datasets on species distribution available and understandable by computers, e.g. through semantic-web technologies such as OntoWiki (Otto & Tramp 2006-2012).

In cooperation with taxonomists I work on improving the determination of Caucasian spider species (Jäger & Otto 2007, Kovblyuk et al. 2012, Otto & Tanasevitch 2010).

Tamara Mcheidze was the most active arachnologist in Georgia. I try to make her work more known to the public, by collecting information about her work (Marusik & Otto 2008, Otto et al. 2008) and translating some of her publications (Mcheidze 2014; Otto 2014).

During my university studies (1998-2004) I worked on canopy spiders in Central Europe. After initial studies on ants and spiders in oak trees (Floren & Otto 2002) I participated in the work group of Andreas Floren (Würzburg) in an intensive study on the canopy arthropods in Białowieża Forest in Eastern Poland (Blick et al. 2006, Floren et al. 2008, Otto & Floren 2007. Of course, my diploma thesis deals with this topic (Otto 2004).

Sometimes I help in other studies on spiders in Central Europe (Muster et al. 2008), Otto & Floren 2010) or the tropics (Floren & Otto 2001).

I support the scientific community by disseminating information within the German Arachnological Society (AraGes Newsletter “Rundbrief” of the Arachnologische Gesellschaft e.V.) and regular contributions to and cooperation with the spider-determination framework “Araneae Spiders of Europe” with regard to spiders in the Caucasus Ecoregion. Occasionally I do some review work, e.g. for Arthropoda Selecta and Fragmenta Faunistica (Warsz.).

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