Molluscan Phylogeny and Evolution

Mollusca constitutes the second largest animal phylum and the most diverse in the marine realm. It is also arguably the animal phylum with the largest body plan disparity. A goal of our lab is to better understand the diversification of this animal group from phylogenetic and ecological perspectives. Several graduate students in the lab focus on this group of invertebrates. 

Past Funding:

Completed theses:

  • Vanessa González, 2013: Evolution of Bivalvia: Multi-level phylogenetic and phylogenomic reconstructions within Bivalvia (Mollusca) with emphasis on resolving familial relationships within Archiheterodonta (Bivalvia: Heterodonta)
  • Stephanie Aktipis, 2009: Clarifying gastropod phylogenies: Exploring deep relationships among Vetigastropoda and related taxa
  • Akiko Okusu, 2003: Evolution of “Early” Molluscs: Integrating phylogenetic, developmental, and morphological approaches 

Highlighted publications: 

  • Giribet, G., Okusu, A., Lindgren, A. R., Huff, S. W., Schrödl, M., Nishiguchi, M. K. 2006. Evidence for a clade composed of molluscs with serially repeated structures: Monoplacophorans are related to chitons. P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103, 7723-7728.
  • Smith, S., Wilson, N. G., Goetz, F., Feehery, C., Andrade, S. C. S., Rouse, G. W., Giribet, G., Dunn, C. W. 2011. Resolving the evolutionary relationships of molluscs with phylogenomic tools. Nature 480, 364-367.
  • Bieler, R., Mikkelsen, P. M., Collins, T. M., Glover, E. A., González, V. L., Graf, D. L., Harper, E. M., Healy, J. M., Kawauchi, G. Y., Sharma, P. P., Staubach, S., Strong, E. E., Taylor, J. D., Tëmkin, I., Zardus, J. D., Clark, S., Guzmán, A., McIntyre, E., Sharp, P., Giribet, G. 2014. Investigating the Bivalve Tree of Life – an exemplar-based approach combining molecular and novel morphological characters. Invertebr. Syst. 28, 32-115.
  • Zapata, F., Wilson, N. G., Howison, M., Andrade, S. C. S., Jörger, K. M., Schrödl, M., Goetz, F. E., Giribet, G., Dunn, C. W. 2014. Phylogenomic analyses of deep gastropod relationships reject Orthogastropoda. P. Roy. Soc. B Biol. Sci. 281, 20141739.
  • González, V. L., Andrade, S. C. S., Bieler, R., Collins, T. M., Dunn, C. W., Mikkelsen, P. M., Taylor, J. D., Giribet, G. 2015. A phylogenetic backbone for Bivalvia:  an RNA-seq approach. P. Roy. Soc. B Biol. Sci. 282, 20142332.