Research

Phylogeography and Evolution of Marine Invertebrates

Sipuncula: Their Phylogeny and Phylogeography

Sipunculans are a group of exclusively marine worms, traditionally considered a phylum of their own, although recent data suggest that they may form part of the annelid clade. With ca. 150 species, many are considered to be distributed broadly, and a large proportion of species are said to be cosmopolitan.

In this research line, originally established by the Late Ed Cutler and Gonzalo Giribet, we have supported research on sipunculan biology, including phylogenetics, population genetics, and taxonomy. Former graduate student Amy Maxmen and former postdoctoral student Anja Schulze contributed towards molecular and morphological study of the phylogenetic relationships within the phylum.

Gisele Kawauchi is a postdoctoral researcher working on several aspects of sipunculan phylogeny and biogeography, especially interested in population genetics of broadly distributed species and in documenting cryptic lineages. She did her PhD thesis on Brazilian sipunculan diversity.