[scientific jargon = TRUE] I am interested in processes such as speciation, adaptive radiation and morphological stasis. I am fascinated by the possibilities and advances that NGS techniques are providing.
For my PhD project I am studying an interstitial annelid species (Stygocapitella subterranea). As far as we know, this species is distributed throughout the globe (i.e. cosmopolitan) … yet it does not seem to have a dispersal stage, it is a K-strategist and it is highy adapted to stay below the sand, on the upper shore. To wrap it – Stygocapitella’s cosmopolitan distribution is thus ‘paradoxical’. This opens up a venue for research, which I will be tackling on my PhD:
- Is Stygocapitella subterranea a complex of cryptic species?
- How many species are part of the complex?
- Are there some species in sympatry?
- Is this complex under morphological stasis?