Collection Overview

The non-insect invertebrate collection consists of a significant number of catalogued marine and a few terrestrial invertebrate specimens. These have not yet been computerized but are cataloged by card file. These collections include echinoderms, marine sponges, some cnidarians, some crustaceans, and a small number of urochordates, annelids, and mollusks (cephalopods and bivalves, mostly). A few other groups may be represented.

There is also a large collection of prepared slides, mostly of Parasites. Current priorities for this collection include computerizing the catalog and supplementing the under-represented groups in the teaching collection.

Curator: Dr. Akiko Okusu

My research interest focuses on understanding evolution of the invertebrate Bauplan. My Ph.D. thesis and postdoctoral work focused on resolving molluscan phylogeny using DNA sequences and morphological data. I was especially interested in the evolution of shell/spicule formation during embryogenesis in the earlier molluscan lineages such as the aplacophorans and the polyplacophorans. Most recently, I have been a part of the Normark Lab studying Armored Scale Insects (Diaspididae), working on molecular systematics and new species descriptions. I plan to use the invertebrate collection as an educational tool in my Marine Biology course and also would like to actively involve the undergraduate students in strengthening the collection through the Independent Research program.

More information about Dr. Okusu's research