Core BLEEDers

meLee 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.


klv1Kjetil 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 because of their rich fossil record and their clonal way of life. He worked with stalked-eyed flies in his “previous life” but admits to have developed a special soft spot for bryozoans not just for their unique biology, but their special look.

TrondReitanTrond 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.

EDMEmanuela Di Martino is a paleontologist and a bryozoan systematist. She is interested in understanding the evolutionary origins of the Indo-West Pacific marine diversity hotspot and uses bryozoans to investigate this question. Recently she has also been deeply engaged in studying life history evolution of cheilostomes in the fossil record and helping to build molecular phylogenies of cheilstomes. Emanuela was previously based at the Natural History Museum, London and now she is in an even colder and grayer place than London to work on the paleoecology of bryozoans.

small_pic_BLEEDArthur 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. Arthur is now an Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University but still works with BLEED, in particular on using automated phenotyping to speed up data collection for answering evolutionary questions using cheilostome bryozoans.

RussellRussell 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! Russell builds molecular phylogenetic trees for BLEED, with loads of sequences and a ready smile.

FullSizeRenderMali 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.


phamkaren_idphoto-1Karen Pham is a visiting Fulbright Scholar and a Ph.D candidate from the Pennsylvania State University from Sarah Ivory’s group. She is a paleoecologist interested in how megafaunal extinctions affect the evolution of large-seeded plants on Madagascar. Though her work does not directly involve bryozoans, she thinks they look almost as cool as giant lemurs would have looked when they were alive!

Major BLEED collaborators

PDT for BLEEDPaul D. Taylor is an invertebrate palaeontologist and taxonomist based at the Natural History Museum in London but has also been a frequent visitor to BLEED in Oslo. His principal interests are in the evolution of the Bryozoa, including their phylogeny, diversity, evolutionary history and evolutionary palaeoecology. While bryozoan business occupies most of his waking hours, even given his emeritus status, he manages to find time to support Hull City.

SBRSeabourne 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 BLEED’s official Kiwi field guide to the Wanganui Basin!

Dennis Gordon 2016Dennis Gordon is an emeritus bryozoologist at the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in Wellington, New Zealand. His “emeritus” status means he has ever more time to work on bryozoan projects with BLEED! 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.


BLEED alumni

Bjørn Tore Kopperud is an evolutionary biologist. As a member of BLEED from 2018-2019, he scoured the vast bryozoan literature and use text-mining and machine learning techniques to extract and systematize data that illuminated the patterns of bryozoan diversification and geographical distribution. He is now back at his “first love” and is a Ph.D candidate at LMU in Munich, working on phylogenetic comparative methods with Sebastian Höhna.

Maja Sannum was a master student in ecology and evolution. She joined BLEED in January 2018 and graduated in December 2019. Maja experimented with extracting DNA from bryozoans that have “idling” on museum shelves for varying periods of time, and hence subject to some DNA degradation. She has successful sequenced dried bryozoans (from the FRAM II expedition, no less) that had been lying around for more than 150 years.

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]. Marianne is now a Ph.D candidate at NHM, University of Oslo with the FEZ group, working on cryptic speciation.

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. She is now a Ph.D candidate with the Jakobsen group at CEES, University of Oslo

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. These bryozoans grew on settling panels that could be pull out at regular intervals for the monitoring of growth and reproduction. Piotr Kuklinski was a co-supervisor on this project.

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.

Kat Magoulick is currently a Ph.D candidate at the University of California, Berkeley with the Charles Marshall group.  She  works on the Great American Biotic Interchange and is in general interested in the filters that affect migrations in the deep past. She volunteered in BLEED during the summer of 2017 while she was an undergraduate student at Michigan State University. Kat has kindly unpacked many boxes of fossils from New Zealand for us.