I study the functional morphology, biomechanics, ecology, and evolution of invertebrate organisms, especially their larvae. I am interested in how developmental and evolutionary processes interact to produce morphological diversity of form and variation in life history patterns. I am interested in the evolution of morphological patterns when larvae change form through ontogeny or through change in trophic mode (e.g. feeding to nonfeeding). I am interested in the ecological and historical reasons that may cause larvae to change form. These studies include descriptive morphology of unusual developmental patterns, phylogenetic and biogeographical analyses of larval development. These studies complement ecological and functional approaches by allowing a comparative perspective on the morphological transformations that occur during development of sea urchins and other invertebrate taxa. Recent research at OIMB includes combined laboratory and field studies examining functional and ecological links between larvae and the juveniles into which they metamorphose. We have explored how larval nutritional history impacts juvenile performance. We have studied barnacles, sea urchins and snails, all of which can show variation in larval nutritional content for different reasons. Work on these taxa to date has explored the influence of larval diet on size, growth and survivorship of early juveniles. We have emphasized field studies to evaluate the effects of diet.
Marshall, D.J., P.J. Krug, E. Kupriyanova, M. Byrne, R.B. Emlet. 2012. The biogeography of marine invertebrate life histories. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 43: 97-114.
Young, C.M., R. He, R.B. Emlet, Y. Li, H. Qian, S.D. Arellano, A. Van Gaest, K.C. Bennett, M. Wolf-Watts, T.I. Smart and M.E. Rice. 2012. Simulated dispersal trajectories of deep-sea larvae from the intra-American seas. Integrative and Comparative Biology 53:483-496. doi:10.1093/icb/ics090
Bennett, K.C., C.M. Young and R.B. Emlet. 2012. Larval development and metamorphosis of the deep-sea cidaroid urchin Cidaris blakei. Biological Bulletin 222:105-117.
Hart, M.W., I. Popovic, and R.B. Emlet. 2012. Low rates of bindin codon evolution in lecithotrophic Heliocidaris sea urchins. Evolution
66:1709-1721. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01606.x
Hart, M.W., C.H. Jeffery Abt, R.B. Emlet. 2011.Molecular phylogeny of echinometrid sea urchins: more species of Heliocidaris with derived modes of reproduction. Invertebrate Biology 130: 175-185. doi: 10.111/j.1744-7410.2011.00231.
Emlet, R.B. 2010. Morphological evolution of newly metamorphosed sea urchins - A phylogenetic and functional analysis. Integrative and Comparative Biology 50:(4) 571- 588. doi:10.1093/icb/icq073
Geierman, C. and R.B. Emlet. 2009. Feeding behavior, cirral fan anatomy, Reynolds numbers, and leakiness of Balanus glandula, from post-metamorphic juvenile to the adult Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 379:68-76.
Emlet, R.B. 2009. The bilaterally asymmetrical larval form of Stomopneustes variolaris Lamarck). Biological Bulletin 216:163-174.
Berger, M.S. and R.B. Emlet. 2007. Heat-shock response of the upper intertidal barnacle Balanus glandula: thermal stress and acclimation. Biological Bulletin 212(3): 232-241.
Emlet, R.B. and S. Sadro. 2006. Linking stages of life history: How larval quality translates into juvenile performance for an intertidal barnacle (Balanus glandula). Integrative and
Comparative Biology 46(3) 334-346.
Emlet, R.B. 2006. Direct development of the brittle star Amphiodia occidentalis (Echinodermata, Ophiuroidea, Amphiuridae) from the northeastern Pacific Ocean. Invertebrate Biology 125 (2): 154-171.
Marshall, D.J., C.N. Cook, and R.B. Emlet. 2006. Offspring size effects mediate competitive interactions in a colonial marine invertebrate. Ecology 87:247-257.
Berger, M.S., Darrah, A.J., Emlet, R.B. 2006. Spatial and temporal variability of early post-settlement survivorship and growth in the barnacle Balanus glandula along an estuarine gradient. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 336(1): 74-87.
Jeffery, C.H., R.B. Emlet, and D.T. J. Littlewood. 2003. Phylogeny and evolution of development in temnopleurid echinoids. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 28: 99-118.
Jeffery, C.H. and R.B. Emlet. 2003. Macroevolutionary consequences of developmental mode in temnopleurid echinoids from the Tertiary of southern Australia. Evolution 57: 1031-1048.
Emlet, R.B., C.M. Young and S.B. George. 2002. Phylum Echinodermata: Echinoidea, Chapter 28 in An Atlas of Marine Invertebrate Larvae. (C.M. Young, M.E. Rice and M.A. Sewell, eds) Academic Press.