see also Biology Department
Phone: 541-888-2581 ext 211
I study the functional morphology, biomechanics, ecology, and evolution of invertebrate organisms. I am interested in how developmental and evolutionary processes interact to produce morphological and life history patterns among marine organisms. My research efforts include larval biology, suspension feeding by microscopic organisms (larvae and protozoa), and evolution of sea urchin development.
My approach is to examine form, function, and ecology in invertebrate larvae as these represent early stages in ontogeny and are important both for modern developmental studies and marine ecological studies. I examine functional morphology and performance using a combination of video micrography, motion analysis of these video tapes, and dynamically scaled mechanical models. Experimental studies are designed to identify how particular morphological traits affect performance in feeding and swimming.
I also study the evolution of morphogenetic patterns generated by developmental processes. These studies complement evolutionary and functional approaches by allowing a comparative perspective on the morphological transformations that occur during development of sea urchins. This comparative information is essential in deriving a general theory of developmental processes.
Current research at OIMB includes combined laboratory and field studies examining the relationships of larval nutritional history and juvenile performance. We are studying barnacles, sea urchins and snails, all of which can show variation in larval nutritional content for differnent reasons. Work on these taxa to date has explored the influence of larval diet on size, growth and survivorship of early juveniles. We are emphasizing field studies to evaluate the effects of diet.