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We study the phylogeny and systematics of marine invertebrate groups such as polychaete annelids, nudibranch molluscs and crinoid echinoderms. We also are studying leafy and weedy seadragons ('honorary invertebrates'). The biology of the extraordinary bone-eating worms, Osedax (below), is also a focus.

We address questions concerning the evolution of burrowing in sediments, reproductive mechanisms, co-evolution, cryptic species, biogeography and phylogeography.

Osedax from 600m

A phalange (flipper bone) of a juvenile gray whale that was originally deployed at 600 m. depth in Monterey Canyon (California) by Bob Vrijenhoek (MBARI). The 6 inch-long bone was recovered after a few months covered with an undescribed species of Osedax worms.

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