French Polynesia

Research in the islands of French Polynesia indicates that several of the spider groups that have diversified here are the same as those that have diversified in Hawaii , though species diversity is not as high as that in Hawaii. Over the last decade I have been describing new species on these islands, determining relationships within the archipelagoes, and how they are related between isolated archipelagoes. This work is based out of UC Berkeley's Gump Research Station in Moorea and in collaboration with the Délégation à la Recherche in Papeete, Tahiti. In December 2002 I completed an expedition, funded by the Délégation à la Recherche, with Jean-Yves Meyer (pictured below on Mt Perau summit), Benoit Fontaine, Olivier Gargominy, and Ron Englund, to the southernmost Austral island of Rapa (photograph on right from near the summit). This work which was made possible by the gracious hospitality of M. and Mme. Cerdan Faraire (photograph on right). More recent work on the islands was through a NSF-funded survey of all high islands of French Polynesia.

With M. and Mme Cerdan Faraire

Rapa from Perahu summit

Society, Marquesas, & Austral islands

Jean-Yves Meyer

Orohena, Tahiti