Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Abby Reft

Museum Specialist (NOAA)
  • PhD. Ohio State University 
  • M.A. University of Kansas 
  • B.A. University of Chicago 
Research Interests

Character evolution and phylogenetics of Anthozoa, particularly the Actiniaria (sea anemones), nematocysts, cnidae, invertebrates, morphology, and microscopy.


O’Leary M., Alphonse K., Arce H M., Cavaliere D., Cirranella A., Dietterich T., Julius M., Kaufman S., Law E., Passarotti M., Reft A., Robalino J., Simmons N.B., Smith S., Stevenson D. Theriot E., Velazco P., Walls R., Yu M., Daly M. 2017. Crowdsourcing morphological matrices: crowds replicate performance of scientific experts scoring phylogenetic matrices of phenotypes. Accepted Systematic Biology

Allen J.D., Klompen A.M.L., Alpert E.J., Reft A.J. 2017. Obligate planktotrophy in the Götte’s larva of Stylochus ellipticus (Platyhelminthes). Invertebrate Reproduction & Development 61:110-118.

Schüler A., Schmitz G., Reft A., Özbek S., Thurm U., Bornberg-Bauer E. 2015. The rise and fall of TRP-N, an ancient family of mechanogated ion channels, in Metazoa. Genome Biology Evolution 7: 1713-1727.

Okamura B., Gruhl A., Reft A. 2015. Cnidarian Origins of Myxozoa. pp. 45-68. For B. Okamura, A. Gruhl, J. Bartholomew (Eds). Myxozoan Evolution, Ecology and Development. Springer.

Rodríguez E., Barbeitos M.S., Brugler M.R., Crowley L.M., Grajales A., Gusmão L., Häussermann V., Reft A., Daly M. 2014. Hidden among sea anemones: The first comprehensive phylogenetic reconstruction of the order Actiniaria (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Hexacorallia) reveals a novel group of hexacorals. PLOS ONE 9 (5): e96998. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0096998

Reft A.J., and Daly M. 2012. Morphology, distribution, and evolution of apical structure of nematocysts in Hexacorallians. Journal of Morphology 273: 121-136.

Voight J.R., Lee R.W., Reft A.J., Bates A.E. 2012. Scientific gear as a vector for alien species at deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Conservation Biology DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2012.01864.x

Daly M., Gusmao L.C., Reft A.J., Rodriguez E. 2010. Phylogenetic signal in mitochondrial and nuclear markers in sea anemones (Cnidaria, Actiniaria). Integrative and Comparative Biology 50: 371-388.

Reft, A.J., Westfall, J. A., Fautin D. G. 2009. Formation of the apical flaps in nematocysts of sea anemones (Cnidaria: Actiniaria). Biological Bulletin 217: 25-34.

Reft, A.J. and Voight J.R. 2009. Sensory structures on the siphons of wood-boring bivalves (Pholadidae: Xylophagainae: Xylophaga). The Nautilus 123:43-48.