Collaborative Research: REVSYS: Worm-Snails Revised (Mollusca: Gastropoda). Grant

Collaborative Research: REVSYS: Worm-Snails Revised (Mollusca: Gastropoda). .


  • Members of the 'worm-snail' family Vermetidae occur in temperate and tropical seas and have developed numerous highly unusual traits, including a gregarious cementing habit (making them important reef builders as well as nuisance species when transported globally) and a rapid rate of gene-order change. Their colonies also mark former sea levels, making them important indicators of sea level and climate change. While their potential as an environmental indicator and as a model system for studying gene order change is very high, their full potential has not been realized because of confusion concerning species delineations and relationships. This project uses a combined approach of morphology, molecules, and ultrastructure to discern relationships in the group, and will provide a stable classification, as well as new inferences about the tempo of diversification and historical geography of these species. The project involves extensive and interdisciplinary student training and will provide a collaborative platform for worldwide efforts in research and understanding of this diverse and important group of mollusks. The results will be widely disseminated through many media to a broad range of audiences, benefiting science education and conservation. Increased knowledge of this group will be particularly valuable for addressing questions about invasive species and sea level and climate changes.

date/time interval

  • March 1, 2009 - February 28, 2015

administered by

sponsor award ID

  • 0841777