Andrea is a Research Zoologist and Curator of Anthozoa in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology. She studies the ecology and evolution of corals and associated communities, and often focuses her questions on those that live in the most poorly studied environment on earth—the deep sea. Andrea strives to work on projects that directly connect with resource managers in order to help effectively conserve vulnerable marine ecosystems in the face of global ocean change. Andrea has sailed on numerous research vessels throughout the North Atlantic Ocean using submersibles and ROVS and is passionate about education and outreach. In 2020, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Colombia.
Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellow
Jeremy is a postdoctoral fellow that is supervised by Andrea Quattrini at the NMNH. Jeremy studies black corals (Anthozoa: Antipatharia) that occur from just below the sea surface to the deep sea. Jeremy uses an integrated genomic and morphological approach through emerging technologies like targeted capture and 3D imaging to revise the taxonomy and better understand the evolutionary history of black corals. Jeremy enjoys exploring remote habitats to discover and describe new-to-science species.
Camille is a Postdoctoral Researcher working for the Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities project. She specializes in sponge evolution with a focus on the taxonomy, genomics, and metagenomics of these organisms. She is using nuclear and mitochondrial genomes to identify and classify the biodiversity of the phylum Porifera in the Gulf of Mexico and using metagenomic and transcriptomics to analyze the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the sponges and their associated organisms.
Tara C McIver
Tara is a Marine Ecologist that has been working in the deep sea environment since 2000. She has been on several research vessels in the southeast Atlantic using submersibles and ROVs to identify benthic communities. She is currently working on video analysis of deep sea communities from submersible and ROV dives in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Declan is a postdoctoral researcher in the Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities project. Declan is interested in evolution and the drivers of speciation in the deep sea. However, to research this topic, accurate species identifications are needed, so he focuses on using both genomic techniques and taxonomy to describe and accurately delimit species. In particular, he has been focusing on the bamboo corals (Octocorallia: Scleralcyonacea: Keratoisididae), a prolific and taxonomically challenging group of globally distributed animals.
3D Digitization, Contractor
Nina is a recent graduate from Eckerd College where she studied marine biology and environmental studies. She began her research with the NMNH Coral Lab as a Natural History Research Experiences intern where her project focused on coral gene adaptation across depth. Currently, she is using 3D photogrammetry to generate over 400 digital 3D models of Invertebrate Zoology’s specimens and increase accessibility to our collections. Nina will soon begin graduate school and will continue studying deep-sea invertebrate biology.
Adela is an evolutionary ichthyologist seeking to understand the factors that have shaped the diversification and evolution of ray-finned fishes using Gadiformes (Codfishes, Hakes, Grenadiers, Codlings, and allies) as a model clade. Her research incorporates molecular, ecological, and morphological data across multiple scales ranging from population to species and higher-level systematics. Adela is particularly interested in applying seascape genomics to empower fish conservation strategies. In the NMNH Coral lab, Adela is using population genomics and otolith microchemistry to understand the processes that shape 3D fish connectivity networks in shallow, upper, and lower mesophotic ecosystems in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico (GoM). This is an interdisciplinary effort that seeks to answer the broader question: what degree are key coral ecosystem species vertically and horizontally connected throughout The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and expansion sites? This research will improve of our understanding of GoM ecosystems, with effective management of Marine Protected Areas to restore degraded coral communities and preserve long-term viability of marine ecosystems.
Claudia is a Postdoctoral researcher that is supervised by Andrea Quattrini in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology. She has a broad interest in cnidarians species, and she especially focuses on taxonomy and evolution of azooxanthellate and deep-sea stony corals (Anthozoa, Scleractinia). In particular, she is applying integrative approaches that couples genomics techniques and morphological observations to study the diversity and biogeography of corals – and their associates – in the Gulf of Mexico for the Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities project.
Annemarie is a research intern for the Ocean DNA project supervised by Andrea Quattrini, Allen Collins, and Chris Meyer. She recently graduated from Haverford College, where she studied biology with a focus on marine science as well as environmental studies. Her work focuses on the use of environmental DNA as a tool for characterizing the biodiversity of deep-sea coral and sponge gardens, particularly in Puerto Rico and the Gulf of Mexico. This research ultimately aims to illustrate the rich variety of organisms that comprise deep-sea ecosystems, which are still perceived as mysterious and relatively understudied, and demonstrate how anthropogenic activity affects the distribution and abundance of these animals.
Genetics and genomics of deep-sea invertebrates
Octocoral genetics and genomics
Postdoctoral fellows: Mike Connelly, Tricia Goulding, Danielle DeLeo
Predoctoral fellows: Catalina Ramirez Portilla, Adriana Rodriguez-Bermudez, Charlotte Benedict
Interns and Staff: Emma Saso, Sriram Ramamurthy, Ariane Buckemeyer