Matjaž Gregorič, PhD
  • Vice-Chair of Institute
  • Head of Research Station Maribor


  • Luo Y., Goh S. P., Li D., Gonzaga M. O., Santos A. J., Tanikawa A., Yoshida H., Haddad C. R., May-Collado L. J., Gregorič M., Turk E., Kuntner M., Agnarsson I. 2020. Global diversification of Anelosimus spiders driven by long distance overwater dispersal and Neogene climate oscillations. Systematic Biology 69: 1122–1136.
  • Kuntner M., Hamilton C. A., Cheng R.-C., Gregorič M., Lupše N., Lokovšek T., Moriarty Lemmon E., Lemmon A. R., Agnarsson I., Coddington J. A. & Bond J. E. 2019. Golden orbweavers ignore biological rules: Phylogenomic and comparative analyses unravel a complex evolution of sexual size dimorphism. Systematic Biology syy082.
  • Gregorič, M., Šuen, K., Cheng, R.C., Kralj-Fišer, S. & Kuntner, M. 2016. Spider sexual behaviors include oral sexual encounters. Scientific Reports 6: 25128.
  • Quiñones-Lebrón S.G., Kralj-Fišer, S., Gregorič, M., Lokovšek, T., Čandek, K., Haddad, C.R. & Kuntner, M. 2016. Potential costs of heterospecific sexual interactions in golden orbweb spiders (Nephila spp.). Scientific Reports 6:36908.
  • Gregorič, M., Agnarsson, I., Blackledge, T.A. & Kuntner, M. 2015. Phylogenetic position and composition of Zygiellinae and Caerostris, with new insight into orb-web evolution and gigantism. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 175: 225–243.
  • Gregorič, M., Blackledge, T.A., Agnarsson, I.,  & Kuntner, M. 2015. A molecular phylogeny of bark spiders reveals new species from Africa and Madagascar (Araneae: Araneidae: Caerostris). Journal of Arachnology 43: 293–312.
  • Gregorič, M., Kuntner, M. & Blackledge, T.A. 2015. Does body size predict foraging effort? Patterns of material investment in spider orb webs. Journal of Zoology 296: 67–78.
  • Gregorič, M., Kiesbüy, H. C., Quiñones Lebrón, S. G., Rozman, A., Agnarsson, I. & Kuntner, M. 2013. Optimal foraging, not biogenetic law, predicts spider orb web allometry. Naturwissenschaften 100: 263-268. 
  • Gregorič, M., Agnarsson, I., Blackledge, T. A. & Kuntner, M. 2011. How did the spider cross the river? Behavioral adaptations for river-bridging webs in Caerostris darwini(Araneae: Araneidae). PLoS ONE 6: e26847.
  • Gregorič, M., Agnarsson, I., Blackledge, T. A. & Kuntner, M. 2011. Darwin’s bark spider: Giant prey in giant orb webs (Caerostris darwini, Araneae: Araneidae)? Journal of Arachnology 39: 287-295. 
The design of the methodology for the monitoring of wild pollinators in Slovenia (crp • 01. november 2019 - 30. november 2022)
Towards working protocols for the use of eDNA from spider webs (temeljni_raziskovalni • 01. july 2019 - 30. june 2022)
Biodiversity: patterns, processes, predictions and conservation (research programme • 01. january 2013 - 31. december 2017)


  • PhD: 2013, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • B.S.: 2008, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia



  • Born 31. October 1981 in Maribor, Slovenia, Slovenian citizen
  • Spoken languages: Slovenian (mother tongue), English (active), German (active), Serbo-Croatian (passive)



  • 2015 – present: Research Fellow at the Jovan Hadži Institute of Biology ZRC SAZU
  • 2014: Postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Biology, University of Akron, USA
  • 2009 – 2013: PhD candidate, employed at Institute of Biology, Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • 2003 – 2009: Student work, volunteering:
    - Institute of Biology ZRC SAZU (2006 – 2009, laboratory and field work, biological curation)
    - Centre for Cartography of Fauna and Flora (2007 – 2008, field work in nature conservation projects)
    - Department of Biology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana (2008, curation of spider collection)
    - Biology Student Society (2003 – 2009, regular participant and mentor of the spider group at field days, weekends and camps, participant in several nature conservation activities)



  • 2017-2019: Postdoc, ARRS – Slovenian Research Agency, titled “Spider webs as a source of environmental DNA”, ca. 100,000 €
  • 2017-2021: Postdoc (PIs T. Blackledge, J. Garb, I. Agnarsson), NSF – National Science Foundation, USA (IOS-1656460), titled "Collaborative Research: Comparative analyses of structural designs underlying functional performance of the toughest spider silk", $903,385
  • 2015-2017: ARRS – Slovenian Research Agency, grant “Promoting the employment of young PhDs”, 25,666.85 €
  • 2011: Explorer’s Club, Exploration Fund 2011, titled “Caerostris spiders of Madagascar: extraordinary biology in rapidly diminishing forests”, $3000
  • 2011: Public Scholarship and Development Fund of the Republic of Slovenia, Public Grant of Scholarships and Co-Financing of Research Cooperation of Slovenian Doctoral Students Abroad in 2010 and 2011, 5000 €



  • Associate editor: The Science of Nature (2017-present)
  • Organizing committee member: 27th European Congress of Arachnology, 2.-7. September 2012, Ljubljana, Slovenia; International Conference on River Drava, 23.-24. September 2010, Dravograd, Slovenia
  • Society membership: International Society of Arachnology, European Society of Arachnology, Biology Student Society of Slovenia
  • Ad hoc peer reviews for (alphabetical): Acta Biologica Serbica, Annales Zoologici Fennici, Arachnologische Mitteilungen, Behavioral Ecology, Biodiversity Data Journal, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society, Entomologia Croatica, Environmental Entomology, Ethology, Ethology Ecology & Evolution, European Journal Of Taxonomy, Journal of Arachnology, Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology, Journal of Ethology, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Natura Sloveniae, Oriental Insects, PLOS ONE, Scientific Reports, Oriental Insects, Scientific Reports, The Science of Nature, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society
  • Since 2015 I am the author of a biweekly science podcast Metamorfoza, presenting news and interesting stories from organismal biology, with the prime intention to popularize science and present it in a laymen-understandable fashion.
  • I have given several interviews and oral opinions on science related topics: appearance in TV show “Ugriznimo v znanost” (2016, 2017); coworker at creating a five-part radio series for the show “Frekvenca X” (2019); interviews for newspapers Delo (2016), Večer (2018); comments for radio shows “Frekvenca X” and “Noetova banda” (both 2016); comments for daily TV news “Dnevnik” (2016), “Svet” (2016), and “24ur” (2015, 2016); interviews for the radio show “Frequenzia della scienzia” (2016), podcasts “Metin čaj”, “Podrobnosti”, and “Številke” (all 2016), the online news portal “24ur” (2016), and for Jana journal (2002); written comments for the newspaper “Dnevnik” (2016) and the online news portal “MMC” (2015). I have written science opinions (Epicenter, 2007), have presented the European spider of the year to the Slovenian public (2008-2013, 2017; in collaboration with the European arachnological society), and have been an advisor for episode 1 of the science documentary “The Hunt” (BBC, UK).



  • University of Ljubljana, 2019-: Mentor, PhD thesis: Janko Šet
  • University of Ljubljana, 2020: Co-mentor, Msc thesis: Janko Šet
  • University of Ljubljana, 2018: Co-mentor, Msc thesis: Klavdija Šuen
  • University of Ljubljana, 2018: Co-mentor, Msc thesis: Rok Golobinek




  • Ingi Agnarsson, University of Vermont, USA (systematic and evolutionary biology, biodiversity)
  • Paul Babb, University of Pennsylvania, USA (genomics)
  • Todd Blackledge, University of Akron, USA (evolutionary ecology, biomaterials)
  • Jason Bond, Auburn University, Auburn, USA (systematics)
  • Ren-Chung Cheng, National Taiwan University, Taiwan (systematics, evolutionary biology)
  • Jonathan Coddington, Smithsonian Institution, USA (systematic and evolutionary biology, biodiversity)
  • Ali Dhinojwala, University of Akron, USA (biomaterials)
  • Holger Frick, National Office of Environment, Liechtenstein (systematics, biodiversity)
  • Jessica Garb, University of Massachusetts Lowell, USA (evolutionary biology, genomics)
  • Charles Haddad, University of Free State, South Africa (biodiversity, spider ecology)
  • Chris Hamilton, University of Florida, USA (systematics, genomics)
  • Christian Kropf, Natural History Museum Berne, Switzerland (biodiversity)
  • Denis Kutnjak, National Institute of Biology, Slovenia (systems biology)
  • Alan R. Lemmon, Florida State University, USA (systematics, genomics)
  • Daiqin Li, National University of Singapore, Singapore (evolutionary and behavioral ecology)
  • Emily Moriarty Lemmon, Florida State University, USA (systematics, genomics)
  • Maja Ravnikar, National Institute of Biology, Slovenia (systems biology)
  • Meta Virant-Doberlet, National Institute of Biology, Slovenia (animal ecology, behavior)
  • Benjamin Voight, University of Pennsylvania, USA (genomics)


Research areas
Ecology B003
Zoology B005