Maydianne C.B. Andrade

University of Toronto Scarborough
Biological Sciences
Evolution and Ecology
Member Since
International Honorary Member

Andrade studies the evolution of behavior, particularly reproductive behavior and mating systems, primarily using spiders as subjects. She has moved from someone known primarily for studies of the extreme traits related to sexual cannibalism in spiders to an expert in behavioral and evolutionary ecology as it extends to understanding biodiversity, the links between gene expression and behavior, and how ecology and behavior shape evolution. Professor Andrade’s lab works to understand how the reproductive behaviors of males and females evolve through the interaction of sexual and natural selection in variable ecological contexts. Her research often questions the conventional wisdom about adaptation, using a combination of carefully designed experiments and well thought-out theoretical frameworks. Her work has been instrumental in developing theory about the adaptive significance of sexual cannibalism and in showing how plasticity in behavior can be an essential component of evolution.

Andrade also has a focus on understanding how unconscious or implicit biases can shape evaluations that are central to academic and professional success across fields. As a knowledge translator, educator, and workshop leader for the past 10 years, Andrade's data-driven, empathetic approach initiates inclusive conversations on patterns of representation, and provides information on the structural and personal approaches that can interrupt biases in the workplace. 

A gifted communicator, Andrade engages in public outreach across platforms, and has appeared in documentaries (The Great Wild Indoors, First Animals), radio interviews and panel discussions, and is the host the podcast The New Normal, which explores perspectives on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the dynamics of everyday life.

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