Asst. Prof. Matjaž Gregorič, Ph. D.

Research Associate and Vice-Chair of Institute of the Jovan Hadži Institute of Biology ZRC SAZU and assistant professor at 2nd cycle study Earth and Environmental Sciences and 3rd cycle study Enviornmental and Regional Studies at Postgraduate School ZRC SAZU.

+386 2 6212 600


BSc in biology [Biotechnical faculty of the University of Ljubljana, 2008]

PhD in biological and biotechnical studies [Biotechnical faculty of the University of Ljubljana, 2013]


Research interests

From the beginning of his research career, spider webs have been the main focus of his research interests. Topics of research projects that at least partially include webs are the functional ecology of spider webs as extended phenotypes of individuals, the role of webs and silk in the evolution of web building spiders, research of material properties of the various types of silk as exceptional biological materials, and he is also pioneering the research on the use of spider webs as natural filters for obtaining eDNA. As he is generally interested in the mechanisms that generate and change biodiversity, his research is partially focused on how natural and sexual selection shape animal behaviors.


Main projects

  • Researcher on the research program “Biodiversity: patterns, processes, predictions and conservation”, financed by ARRS (1999-2023).
  • Principal investigator of the fundamental research project “Towards working protocols for the use of eDNA from spider webs”, financed by ARRS (2019-2022).
  • Researcher on the target research project “The design of the methodology for the monitoring of wild pollinators in Slovenia”, financed by ARRS and MOP (2019-2022).
  • Postdoctoral research project ”Spider webs as a source of environmental DNA”, financed by ARRS (2017-2019).

Main visiting appointments

  • Postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Biology, University of Akron, USA (2014).
  • Student research visit, University of Puerto Rico, USA (2011).


  • Associate editor at the scientific journal The Science of Nature, Springer.


Selected publications

  • 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.
  • Coddington, J.A., Agnarsson, I., Cheng, R.C., Čandek, K., Driskell, A., Frick, H., Gregorič, M., Kostanjšek, R., Kropf, C., Kweskin, M., Lokovšek, T., Pipan, M., Vidergar, N. & Kuntner, M. 2016. DNA barcode data accurately assign higher spider taxa. PeerJ 4: e2201.
  • 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.


Biology of subterranean habitats

Prof. Tanja Pipan, Ph. D. ,


Environmental microbiology

Assoc. Prof. Janez Mulec, Ph. D. ,


Selected topics from behavioural biology

Prof. Simona Kralj-Fišer, Ph. D. ,


The basics of biological processes

Asst. Prof. Matjaž Gregorič, Ph. D. ,