Lee Hsiang Liow is a paleobiologist. She wants to understand how ecological and evolutionary processes apparent on generational time scales produce macroevolutionary patterns and trends observable in the fossil record. She met bryozoans early in her research career but only fell truly in love with them, one lovely summer back in Jan 2014, on the windy coasts of the Whanganui coast of North Island New Zealand.
Kjetil Lysne Voje is an evolutionary biologist. He is interested in drivers of macroevolutionary change, trait evolution on short and long timescales and the relative importance of constraints and adaptation in shaping organisms. He likes bryozoans mainly because of their rich fossil record and their clonal way of life, but he admits to have developed a soft spot for their looks and unique biology.
Trond Reitan is a statistician. He has worked with diverse systems ranging from floods, to hare-lynx cycles, bees and apes, to more-dead-than-dead-brachiopods-and-bivalves. With BLEED, Trond will be analyzing the macroevolutionary, population and biotic interaction data. He hopes that insights from modeling bryozoan interactions will someday shed light on similar interactions in the realm of Pokémon. But now he has to be content with studying bryozoan interactions with intuition gathered from Pokémon.
Emanuela Di Martino is a paleontologist and a bryozoan systematist. She is especially interested in understanding the evolutionary origins of the Indo-West Pacific marine diversity hotspot and uses bryozoans to investigate this question. Emanuela was previously based at the Natural History Museum, London and now she in an even colder and grayer place than London to work on the paleoecology of bryozoans.
Arthur Porto is an evolutionary geneticist. He wants to understand how genetic and developmental constraints shape evolution, and is currently using bryozoans as a model system for studying how such constraints mold their macroevolutionary patterns. He is new to the bryozoan world but likes the fact that bryozoans do not bite as much as mice.
Russell Orr is an evolutionary biologist with BLEED. He has a general interest in eukaryotic molecular evolution and is in love with methods, both wet and dry! He likes nothing better than to discuss sequencing methods and phylogenetics over a glass of wine. He loves a challenge and the chance to apply new and untried methods to solve it!
Bjørn Tore Kopperud is an evolutionary biologist who has worked intensively with phylogenetic comparative methods. As a member of BLEED, he will scour the vast bryozoan literature and use text-mining and machine learning techniques to extract and systematize data that will illuminate the patterns of bryozoan diversification. Fossils and bryozoans are relatively new to him, but he enjoys the rich diversity of bryozoan morphologies. Besides, who doesn’t like Haeckel’s drawings?
Mali Hamre Ramsfjell is BLEED’s lab technician. Mali was a master student with BLEED whose thesis focused on bryozoan overgrowth competition and whether or not zooid size affects the outcome of such interactions [LINK TO THESIS]. You might think that she is tired of bryozoans after collecting data on several thousands interactions, but no! Mali is happily unpacking and organizing fossils and taking tons of SEMs of beautiful bryozoans, recently dead, and dead-a-long time ago, and needless to say, collecting even more data on colony-colony interactions.
Major BLEED collaborators
Paul D. Taylor is an invertebrate palaeontologist and taxonomist based at the Natural History Museum in London. His principal interests are in the evolution of the Bryozoa, including their phylogeny, diversity history and evolutionary palaeoecology. While bryozoan business occupies most of his waking hours, he manages to find time to support Hull City.
Seabourne Rust began collecting fossils as a child, had a museum in the backyard shed as a teenager, went on to study fossil fishes at the University of Otago, New Zealand, before shifting focus to fossil bryozoans for his PhD at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. As well as being a practising artist, he continues to work on aspects of New Zealand geology and natural history and is the official Kiwi field guide to the Wanganui Basin!
Dennis Gordon is an emeritus bryozoologist at the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in Wellington, New Zealand. His interest is the systematics and phylogeny of living and fossil Bryozoa (especially Cheilostomata) from the Cretaceous to the present day. In addition, Dennis is also a true blue Kiwi natural historian who insists on walking in the field in his jandals in all weather and terrain.
Andrea Waeschenbach is a molecular systematist based at the Natural History Museum in London. In her current project “Molecules meet fossils – an integrated approach to studying palaeodiversity” funded by the Leverhulme Trust, she studies patterns of bryozoan diversification. Although a bryozoologist at heart, she has also become entwined with tapeworm phylogenetics. In addition, she lives out her detective fantasies by using molecular phylogenies to identify birds that have been ingested by airplanes.
Currently BLEEDing Students
Bianca Pricope is a master student in ecology and evolution. She joined BLEED in October 2019 hoping to get acquainted with bryozoan bacterial symbionts and to understand their distribution in the bryozoan world. Bianca will do this using mainly bioinformatic approaches. In addition to traveling and exploring new cultures, Bianca likes building Legos and hiding them around the house. Hopefully her friends won’t discover she’s a child trapped in an adult’s body…..oops, now they know!
Maja Sannum is a master student in ecology and evolution. She joined BLEED in January 2018 with barely any knowledge about bryozoans but she is looking forward to learning more about them. Maja will improve methods of extracting DNA from bryozoans that have “idling” on museum shelves for varying periods of time, and hence subject to some DNA degradation. She has already handled about 30 different species that came to BLEED from Antarctica!
Marianne Nilsen Haugen was a master student in evolution and ecology, and joined BLEED in August 2016. When she entered the world of Bryozoa, she was stunned by the complexity, variation and diversity within this taxa, making her eager to learn more about bryozoans and to do some kick-ass research with them.She worked on the phylogeny of the family Adeonidae as well as frontal shield evolution within this family [LINK TO THESIS].
Jeroen Boeve was a master student with BLEED and completed his MSc in Sep 2016. Jeroen worked on adding molecular sequence data to the greater cheilostome phylogeny, and utilized the resulting phylogenetic hypothesis to ask questions on how traits affect rates of diversification [LINK TO THESIS]. He was a part of our second expedition to the Wanganui Basin. Currently he’s exploring opportunities in computer science in the Netherlands but hopes to get back into using statistics to unravel biological mysteries in the future.
Emily Enevoldsen was a master student with BLEED and completed her MSc in June 2016. She worked on resolving the phylogenetic position of a species rich family of cheilostomes, the Microporellidae, and was also a part of our second expedition to the Wanganui Basin. [LINK TO THESIS]. She spends her free time contributing to environmental causes by volunteering at “keep the oceans clean” (Hold Norge Rent) and doing outreach at Drøbak aquarium.
Jonas Solnørdal Nærø was a master student in marine biology and completed his MSc in June 2018. His project involved estimating colony growth rates and understanding the relationship of growth to fecundity and zooid size, using a suite of encrusting bryozoan species from Spitzbergen.
Kat Magoulick is a Phd candidate at the University of California, Berkeley. She volunteered in BLEED during the summer of 2017 while she was an undergraduate student at Michigan State University.
Malgorzata Krzeminska is a marine biologist at the Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences. She visited BLEED from Oct 2017 to Feb 2018. She is interested in processes that regulates the mineral composition of bryozoan skeletons, as well as their biodiversity distribution in relation with environmental parameters. Her research started with Antarctic bryozoans, and these hardy creatures have now brought her on an amazing under (and above) water journey around the world.