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Invertebrates Laboratory


Photo: Charles MessingCharles Messing, Ph.D.

"By far the most diverse creatures in the sea are the invertebrates, the animals without backbones. Many species are not yet discovered or described. The work of this laboratory focuses on expanding our knowledge of these extraordinary organisms, both in the fossil record and in the ocean today to help us understand how marine ecosystems work. You cannot understand ecology or biodiversity unless you know what's there."

Research Focus

Scientific classification, evolutionary relationships, and ecology of marine invertebrates.

Research Activities

  • Systematics, ecology, and evolution of marine animals without backbones
  • Living and fossil crinoids (sea lilies and feather stars)
  • Sponge classification and identification
  • Habitat characterization of deep ocean slope communities
  • Ecology and speciation of deep sea coral reefs
  • Deep ocean reef and other habitat mapping

Contact Information

Charles Messing, Ph.D.
COE Room #241
(954) 262-3658

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