Welcome to our new website. The primary address is www.australasianarachnologicalsociety.org which will take responsibility for sending out the newsletter Australasian Arachnology, with the latest news and views of our members and colleagues.

A history of the Australasian Arachnological Society

The Australasian Arachnological Society was formed in November 1979 by Robert Raven. He managed the membership for a number of years and produced 24 issues of Australasian Arachnology, the society’s newsletter. In 1983, Richard Faulder, of Yanco Agricultural Institute, became administrator and newsletter editor, producing issues 10-20 while  Robert Raven was overseas doing post-doctoral research. In 1985, Robert Raven resumed editorial responsibilities with issue 21 although Richard continued to print the newsletter.

In May 1986, the first meeting of Australasian arachnologists was held as a special symposium of the 17th Annual General Meeting of the Australian Entomological Society in Tunanda/South Australia. Twelve papers were presented and eleven were published in a special proceedings volume in 1988 edited by Andy Austin and N. Heather. (The Australian Entomological Society Miscellaneous Publication No. 5). 

In January 1989, Robert Raven produced Australasian Arachnology 35, before handing over to Mark Harvey, at the Western Australian Museum, Perth.  Newsletters continued to be produced by Mark with help from Julianne Waldock, until issue 54. The second meeting of the Australasian Arachnological Society. The conference proceedings were published in the Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, volume 33(2) with 46 papers on arachnology, 15 of which dealing with Australasian topics.

At the international arachnological meeting in Chicago in 1998, Mark offered Tracey Churchill, then with CSIRO in Darwin, the editorial position. From April 1999 to May 2004, Tracey produced issues 55-69 and introduced sections to cover student projects to encourage the growing interest in arachnid ecology at university level.

In June 2004 Volker Framenau took on the editorial role of Australasian Arachnology from issue 70 (offered in PDF) and was instrumental in getting the society website up and running in August 2005. To facilitate a national meeting Volker teamed up with Mariella Herberstein, Barry Richardson and Mark Harvey to introduce a special symposium, Australasian Arachnology – Evolution, Ecology and Conservation, at the Combined Australian Entomological Society, Society of Australian Systematic Biologists and Invertebrate Biodiversity and Conservation Conference in December 2005, in Canberra.

In September 2009, Michael Rix, then at the Western Australian Museum, took on the role as newsletter editor. Michael is now at Queensland Museum. In May 2012, Cor Vink became webmaster of the AAS website. The Combined Australian Entomological Society and Australasian Arachnological Society Conference convened in Hobart in November 2012.

In 2018 Robert Whyte, author of A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia, CSIRO Publishing 2017, and Helen Smith, Acting Technical Officer and Research Associate, Australian Museum, took on the responsibilities for the website, the newsletter and the Society’s administration.

The previous website which might contain some archives is stored in multiple captures on the internet archive here.

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