Otero to Host Dr. Paula Cushing, Spider Expert, on Oct. 7th

Description: Dr. Paula Cushing from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science will give a presentation about tarantulas. There is no admission fee, and the event is open to all.


Published: 09/20/2022
Byline: Petramala

Otero to Host Dr. Paula Cushing, Spider Expert, on Oct. 7th

LA JUNTA — La Junta Tourism is hosting the First Annual La Junta Tarantula Fest on Oct. 7 and 8 in downtown La Junta. There will be a parade, vendors, tours, and an information pavilion, among other things. In coordination with the festival committee, Otero College, with Warren McClure, Biology Faculty and Math and Science Department Chair organizing the event, will host Dr. Paula Cushing as she shares a presentation on arachnids.

Dr. Cushing, a senior curator of invertebrate zoology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, is slated to give her talk from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7 in the Otero College Learning Commons inside Wheeler Hall. She will have live specimens with her for all to view. This opportunity is free and open to the public.

McClure, who was instrumental in bringing Dr. Cushing to Otero, shared, “The Otero Math and Science Department is excited to be working with the La Junta Tarantula Fest to host Dr. Cushing on campus. This will be a great opportunity for community members to come to campus and learn about local celebrities (tarantulas) from an expert.”

An evolutionary biologist, Dr. Cushing studies arachnid patterns and processes. She focuses her research on the diversity of spiders in the Rocky Mountain/Great Plains ecoregion (the Colorado Spider Survey). She has served as the co-advisor on the graduate committees of master of science and PhD students at various universities. She is very involved with the American Arachnological Society and the International Society of Arachnology. She has several published articles. More information can be found at https://www.dmns.org/science/zoology/staff/paula-cushing/.