Training in Tropical Taxonomy

2010 Courses

Encyclopedia of Life - Meiofauna Diversity and Taxonomy

Meiofauna Diversity and Taxonomy

Participanting Experts

Participating Experts   Information
Marco Curini-Galleti
Dr. Marco Curini-Galletti
Univ. Sassari, Italy
email
(proseriate flatworms)
  I am mainly interested in diversity patterns of Proseriata, a group of Platyhelminthes. As with many morphologically ‘austere’ groups, the key problem here is species delimitation: I use an integrative approach to taxonomy, combining information from morphological, karyological and molecular markers, as well as evidences from reproductive biology. I am particularly puzzled with the unexpectedly restricted geographical distributions of many of my worms, which may shatter previous estimates of the contribution to marine biodiversity of ‘microturbellarians’ (and not only..). In Panama, I am interested in obtaining the first checklist of the group in the Caribbean – as a basis for further studies/comparisons across the area.

Lena Gustavsson
Dr. Lena Gustavsson
Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet,
Stockholm, Sweden
email - Website
(oligochaetes)

  I am interested in the diversity and evolution of clitellates with focus on aquatic oligochaetes. My main research area is morphology; to study morphological characters in a phylogenetic context. I use different microscopical techniques such as TEM, SEM, and LM. I have for example studied the cuticle, epidermis, muscles, and chaetae in clitellates and other annelid groups. All morphological information are together with molecular data used to get insight into the evolution of clitellates.
Rick Hochberg
Dr. Rick Hochberg
Univ. Massachusetts - Lowell, USA
Website
(gastrotrichs, rotifers, tardigrades)

  I am interested in the diversity, functional morphology, and evolution of marine meiofauna and freshwater zooplankton. Specific groups of interest are macrodasyidan gastrotrichs, asplanchnid rotifers, and various groups of sessile rotifers. I use advanced microscopical techniques (CLSM, SEM, TEM) and 3D modeling software to search for new systematic characters and answer questions of biological interest. In Panama, I am interested in cataloging gastrotrich diversity to expand our knowledge of the group's biogeographical range.
Jon Norenburg
Dr. Jon Norenburg
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, USA
email - Website
(nemerteans, hydroids, soft-bodied mollusks)

 

My long-term focus is evolution and diversification of the phylum Nemertea, by using phylogenetic systematics to integrate and organize studies of comparative morphology (histochemical, histological and ultrastructural), life-history attributes, and molecular sequence data. A life-long subsidiary focus on taxonomy, systematics and phylogeography of the mesopsammic, world-wide nemertean genus Ototyphlonemertes, has led to a more general interest in mesopsammon, with a special fondness for “orphan” groups like cnidarians and soft-bodied mollusks.

Dr. Sofia V. Pyataeva
Dr. Sofia V. Pyataeva
M.V. Lomonosov
Moscow State University, Russia
(cnidarians)


  My main research interests have been focused on cnidarians (hydrozoans in particular), related to fine morphology, developmental biology and symbiotic relationships of colonial hydroids. Current scientific foci include diversity, taxonomy and phylogeny of meiobenthic cnidarians, a group of very beautiful fantastic creatures! Meiobenthic cnidarians have been really neglected, with mostly only a combination of poor morphology and a cnidome used as a basis for taxonomy. I am beginning to use an integrative approach of up-to-date morphological and molecular techniques to evaluate taxonomy and phylogeny of meiobenthic cnidarians.
Dr. Carlos Rocha
Dr. Carlos Rocha
Univ. São Paulo, Brazil
(copepods)

  I have been working on copepods since 1977, when I started my PhD supervised by Dr. Tagea Björnberg at the Department of Zoology, University of São Paulo, Brazil. From 1982 till now I have taught Invertebrate Zoology in the same department. My interest in research has been the taxonomy of Cyclopoida, mainly the brackish Halicyclopinae and freshwater Cyclopinae living in fitotelmata and semiterrestrial habitats. As the coordinator of the studies on meiofauna diversity in the framework of the huge research program on characterization, conservation and sustainable use of the biodiversity of the State of São Paulo, called "BIOTA/FAPESP, The Virtual Institute of Biodiversity", I participated in projects on ostracods, harpacticoids, gastrotrichs, acari and turbellarians. More recently I am giving taxonomic support for projects focusing phylogeny of Cyclopoida based on molecules.
Ashleigh Smythe
Dr. Ashleigh Smythe
Hamilton College, NY, USA
(nematodes)
email

  My research interests are in studying the diversity and evolution of nematodes. I am particularly interested in free-living marine nematodes, as they are the most diverse, abundant, and little-studied nematodes. Marine nematodes are also among the most beautiful nematodes, often with elaborate structures not seen in soil or parasitic taxa. I use molecular and morphological tools to build phylogenies, describe species, and document nematode diversity.
Alberto de Jesus Navarrete
Alberto de Jesus Navarrete
El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Mexico
email
  My academic interests are in the study of the distribution and abundance of free living aquatic nematodes, mainly marine nematodes. I want to understand how the physical and chemical variables affect the distribution of nematodes and how they are related with the sediment characteristics. I am interested too in biogeographical relationships between different nematode faunas, and how we can explain the distribution of cosmopolitan species, finally I think that nematodes are useful as environment quality indicators.
Fernando Pardos
Fernando Pardos
Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain
email
  My research activities are focused currently on any aspect of the biology of kinorhynchs worldwide. I want to enlarge our knowledge of the diversity of the phylum as a basis to understand their role in meiofaunal communities and their phylogenetic relationships, both internal and external, not to say their biogeographical distribution. I am also interested in loriciferans and any other scalidophorans. Formerly, but not yet abandoned, I studied largely other marine benthic invertebrates, mostly enteropneusts and phoronids.
Dr. Katrine Worsaae
Dr. Katrine Worsaae
Univ. Copenhagen, Denmark
(polychaetes)
email
 
My research interests are functional and comparative morphology, evolution, and systematics of marine meiofauna - mainly Annelida. For studies of adaptations and diagnostic characters I use advanced bioimaging techniques such as microscopic time-lapse photography and video-recordings, SEM, TEM, immunohistochemistry and CLSM. Phylogenetic analyses exploring these and molecular data are used to obtain new insight on origin and evolutionary pathways such as paedomorphosis (further info on Meiofauna and interstitial annelids).
Dr. Rachel Collin
Rachel Collin
Website
collinr@si.edu
 
I am a STRI staff scientist and the director of the Bocas del Toro Research Station. In this capacity I have worked to develop the outreach programs, biodiversity database, and the Training in Tropical Taxonomy program at the station. With my other hat on, I am a systematist working on the evolution and life histories of calyptreaid gastropods.
Mikael Thollesson
Mikael Thollesson
Uppsala University, Sweden
Mikael.Thollesson@ebc.uu.se
 

My current, and relatively new, scientific interest is the phylogentics and systematics of sponges, but I also retain an affection for the taxa I have worked with previously as well; nudibranchs, particularly dendronotaceans and polycerids, and nemertines. I have also side-tracked into molecular evolution and bioinformatics (sequence analysis, databases) for a decade, and am currently attempting to merge these areas of interest in developing tools and databases for biodiversity (and biogeography) studies and species identification.

Jennifer Hammock
Jennifer Hammock
Encyclopedia of Life
National Museum of Natural History
HammockJ@si.edu
 

I'm the Marine Theme coordinator at the Encyclopedia of Life. I was originally trained in marine mammal sensory biology, and love to tackle morphometry questions with histology, radiology and 3D reconstruction. I have since been exposed to a much greater diversity of marine organisms and am very excited to bring mysterious and little-known animals to the attention of the vertebrate-focused public. My job is to recruit and support EOL content partners, like STRI, and generally to bring the knowledge and expertise of specialists to a global online audience. Workshop participants, prepare to make Meiofauna internationally famous!

Daniel Gouge
Daniel Gouge
Florida
Field Assistant
gouge3@gmail.com
 

As a retired Diving Safety Officer (Virginia Institute of Marine Science 1976-2007) I still enjoy following closely on the heels of  accomplished researchers who's interests lie beneath warm tropical waters.  Though my former career might be considered a  dream job, my current motto of "will science-dive for food and tropical lodging" seems to be serving quite well.  When not  far afield, my interests closer to home are teaching diving in general (PADI Instructor for 30 years), cave diving in particular, fishing at every opportunity, and working on my antique tractors when necessary.

     

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