Dr Chrissie Painting

Chrissie Painting

Senior Lecturer

Qualifications: BSc Hons - Lincoln University, PhD University of Auckland

Personal Website:

Papers Taught

Research Supervised


  • Connolly, Simon (in progress). Monogyny and introgression in New Zealand fishing spiders.

MSc (Research)

  • Chapman, Brody (in progress).  Invertebrate community responses to forest fragmentation
  • Lambert, Michaela (in progress). The effect of population density on mating dynamics in New Zealand giraffe weevils.
  • Mills, Lara (in progress). Personality and assessment strategies during contest behaviour of field crickets
  • Fale, Grant (in progress). Effect of honey bee abundance on the foraging behaviour of New Zealand native bees
  • Devenish, René (in progress). Exploring the energetic impacts of warming on pollinator behaviour and ecosystem functioning. (main supervisor: Andrew Barnes)

Research Interests

I’m a behavioural ecologist with a particular interest in what drives diversity in exaggerated animal traits, such as weapons and ornaments. This fits into a central goal of evolutionary biology which is to understand patterns in the variation of animal phenotypes. My research is primarily on arthropods including beetles, harvestmen and spiders, with a strong basis in natural history.

Recent Publications

  • McCambridge, J. E., Painting, C. J., Walker, L. A., & Holwell, G. I. (2021). Contests between male New Zealand sheet-web spiders, Cambridgea plagiata (Araneae: Desidae). New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 1-14. doi:10.1080/03014223.2021.1909081

  • Somjee, U., Powell, E. C., Hickey, A. J., Harrison, J. F., & Painting, C. J. (2021). Exaggerated sexually selected weapons maintained with disproportionately low metabolic costs in a single species with extreme size variation. Functional Ecology. doi:10.1111/1365-2435.13888

  • Mark, C. J., Painting, C. J., O’Hanlon, J. C., & Holwell, G. I. (2021). Lichen moths do not benefit from ‘element imitation’ masquerade in the absence of a matching background. Evolutionary Ecology. doi:10.1007/s10682-021-10110-3

  • Yu, L., Xu, X., Zhang, Z., Painting, C. J., Yang, X., & Li, D. (2021). Masquerading predators deceive prey by aggressively mimicking bird droppings in a crab spider. Current Zoology. doi:10.1093/cz/zoab060

Find more research publications by Chrissie Painting


Animal Behaviour; Biology; Ecology

Behavioural Ecology; Evolution; Entomology; Sexual Selection