Molecular population genetics, phylogeography, and phylogeny of marine zooplankton
We use genomic and transcriptomic approaches to examine gene expression profiles in zooplankton using DNA microarrays, whole-genome RNA sequencing, and quantitative real-time PCR (QPCR) of target genes. Our target species currently are the copepod, Calanus finmarchicus, and the salp, Salpa thompsoni. My laboratory uses diverse molecular approaches and protocols to study the phylogeography, population genetics, systematics, and evolution of marine holozooplankton, especially thecrustacean groups Copepoda and Euphausiacea. We are examining phylogeographic patterns and population genetic diversity and structure
of zooplankton based on DNA sequence variation and Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Our goals are to examine spatial patterns of genetic variationof zooplankton from small-scale patches to ocean-basin scale gyres, and to infer pathways of transport in ocean currents.
We are working to analyze the evolutionary history and molecular phylogeny of copepods and euphausiids using multi-gene sequences. A particular goal is to integrate molecular and morphological phylogenies for improved understanding of the timing and mode of speciation of these ecologically important and taxonomically complex zooplankton groups.
During 2004-2010, we worked to develop a new global view of holozooplankton species diversity through the Census of Marine Zooplankton (CMarZ, see www.CMarZ.org), an ocean realm field project of the Census of Marine Life (CoML). We used DNA sequences for mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I as barcodes (i.e., short DNA sequences for species recognition and discrimination) to characterize global-scale patterns of zooplankton species distribution and diversity. This research focus continues using multi-gene analysis of species diversity, as well as phylogeographic and population genetic analysis of target species.
Prospective StudentsWe are located in the third floor of the Marine Sciences Building, University of Connecticut at Avery Point in Groton, CT. Contact information for the students and staff is given in the people section, as well as for our guests.
Prospective graduate students should contact Ann Bucklin directly. Students may consider applying for Masters’ or Doctoral degree programs in the Department of Marine Sciences.