Dr Michael Rix

Mike is a Principal Curator of Arachnology and Research Fellow in the Biodiversity and Geosciences Program at the Queensland Museum. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Queensland, and his Ph.D. at the University of Western Australia in 2009. Before joining the Queensland Museum, Mike worked at the Western Australian Museum and the University of Adelaide, and joined the staff at Queensland Museum in 2015. Mike works primarily on the taxonomy, systematics, evolutionary biology and molecular biology of Australian spiders.

The overriding aim of his research is to combine phylogenetic approaches to explore biogeographic and other evolutionary problems, with revisionary taxonomic approaches to describe and conserve species. He has dedicated most of his career to working with collections and to taxonomically documenting the remarkable spider faunas of Australia and the other Austral continents, and has described over 210 species in eight families.

Historical snapshot

  • Ph.D. University of Western Australia (2009)
  • ABRS Postdoctoral Fellow, Western Australian Museum (2009-2012)
  • ARC Australian Postdoctoral Industry Fellow, Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity, The University of Adelaide (2012-2015)
  • ABRS Research Fellow, Queensland Museum (2015-2018)
  • Acting Head of Biodiversity and Geosciences Program, Queensland Museum (2018)
  • Principal Curator of Arachnology and Research Fellow, and Head of Terrestrial Environments (Wed-Fri), Queensland Museum (2018-Present)

Professional appointments

  • Research Associate, Western Australian Museum (2015-Present)
  • Adjunct Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland (2017-Present)
  • President, Society of Australian Systematic Biologists (2017-2019)
  • Secretary, Society of Australian Systematic Biologists (2014-2017)
  • Taxonomy Australia Steering Committee (2018-2019)
  • Australian Entomological Society Conservation Committee (2018-Present)
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Arachnology (2015-Present)
  • Associate Editor, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (2019-Present)
  • Associate Editor, Zootaxa (2006-Present)

Current research interests

  • Evolution and biogeography of Australasian spiders
  • Phylogeny of mygalomorph spiders
  • Systematics of spiny trapdoor spiders (family Idiopidae)
  • Systematics of open-holed trapdoor spiders (family Nemesiidae)
  • Systematics and morphology of pelican spiders (family Archaeidae) and other Palpimanoidea
  • Conservation of Australian Mygalomorphae

Current projects

  • Taxonomy and systematics of open-holed trapdoor spiders of the Teyl-group (family Nemesiidae) – funded by the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS)
  • Taxonomy and systematics of Australian spiny trapdoor spiders (family Idiopidae) – funded by the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) and the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Scheme
  • Demography and conservation biology of giant spiny trapdoor spiders from the southern Brigalow Belt
  • Systematics of arid-zone Mygalomorphae
  • Conservation of Australian spiders




Head, Terrestrial Biodiversity

Principal Curator (Arachnida) and Research Fellow

Biodiversity & Geosciences Program


Ph.D. University of Western Australia 2009

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