Spiders in Albania

Location: Albania

Subject: Natural World

Dates: 2008 – 2009

Related ACE Cultural Tours: Albania

Mission/Vision

To document and research the various different species of spider present in Albania.

Project History

Blerina Vrenozi working at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Albania had a specialist interest in spiders and had been trying to research and document them as best she could.

Project & ACE

Philip Kenrick led an ACE Study Tour to explore the sites of Albania. Whilst there, they came across Blerina Vrenozi, a scientific researcher in the Museum of Natural Sciences, who showed them round the museum. They discovered that Miss Vrenozi had a particular interest in spider species but, being in Albania, found a distinct lack of specialists in the subject! Philip Kenrick, himself a specialist in Archaeological research, recognised her difficulties and put her in touch with the ACE Foundation to help her find some specialists in order that she could comfortably continue her valuable and unique research. Since Albania has a limited history of scientific research, it is unsurprising that there is little knowledge in the field of spiders particularly, especially since the associations with such a creature are unfavourable. Her nature so captivated the touring group it seemed appropriate that ACE did something to help. The help thus far has been in the nature of covering her expenses to go to Greece in August 2009 for a conference where she presented her research and where she could meet appropriate specialists directly and build up a network of contacts to help her in her project. The congress was a great success for Miss Vrenozi and resulted in meaningful debate with other European specialists, who acknowledged Miss Vrenozi’s presence – as the first Albanian to attend such an event – with interest and enthusiasm. Since the congress Miss Vrenozi now has contacts, advice and literature from which she can continue her research with reassurance and enhanced knowledge. She has been invited to and hopes to attend the International Arachnological Congress in 2010.