Assistant Professor Long Island University-Post
Life Sciences Bldg., Room 261 West
720 Northern Blvd.
Greenvale, NY 11548-1300
LAB PHONE: 516-219-3029
Antarctic Research Page
Volume Rendering of the Musculature of the Competent Larva of Terebratalia transversa (Brachiopoda)
Overall, I consider myself an evolutionary biologist with broad interests in the development, evolution, and ecology of aquatic invertebrates. Some of my research focuses on marine invertebrate larvae because their diverse forms serve as unique models for understanding the evolutionary and ecological relationships among multicellular animals. I am especially interested in morphological and developmental studies on phyla with enigmatic evolutionary origins such as phoronids, brachiopods, and bryozoans. These phyla are intriguing due to their extraordinarily divergent morphological traits as compared to other related lophotrochozoan phyla such as annelids and mollusks. Publications resulting from this work have covered a variety of topics such as reproductive biology, neuromuscular anatomy, biogeography, phylogeny, and metamorphosis. Currently, my laboratory is studying the expression of evolutionarily conserved transcription factors involved in the development of the nervous system of invertebrate animals.
Globally, aquatic habitats are threatened by the introduction of non-indigenous species many of which exhibit wide environmental tolerances. In particular, species of peracarid crustaceans (amphipods, cumaceans, and mysid shrimps) and cladocerans have exploited the operations of commercial ships as a means of long-distance dispersal. As a consequence, species introductions due to ballast water discharges and the fouling assemblages present on the hulls of commercial ships pose a threat to the health of our coastal ecosystems. Gathering information on the capacity of invertebrate animals to withstand shifts in food sources, temperature, and salinity are crucial for limiting their introduction into freshwater, estuarine, and marine habitats.