Marine Science

Marine Science

Senior Theses 2006

Melissa M. Berrien (2006). The Evolutionary Relationships of Doryteuthis pealeii: a Phylogentic Study of Squid
Faculty Advisor: Peter Meylan


It has been difficult to firmly establish evolutionary relationships among cephalopods using morphological and paleontological characters. Analyzing molecular data has become a useful and important tool for evaluating these relationships. The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of genomic organization and phylogeny of Doryteuthis pealeii by isolating, amplifying, and sequencing portions of its mitochondrial genome, and then using the new sequence data to test hypotheses of relationships proposed by previous workers.

Variable genome organizations have been observed in squid, relative to octopus and the polyplacophoran, Katharina tunicata. Heterololigo bleekeri represents a major rearrangement while Watasenia scintillans and Todarodes pacificus represent a genome with duplicated genes. It was hypothesized and supported by my study that Doryteuthis pealeii and D. plei have genome organizations more homologous to the rearranged Heterololigo bleekeri. It has been proposed that Doryteuthis pealeii and Heterololigo bleekeri belong to the subfamily Lolligunculini. My study rejects the inclusion of Doryteuthis pealeii in the subfamily Lolligunculini in all analyses and instead places Doryteuthis pealeii as a sister to Loligo.

Student Research

Given the close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and subtropical climate, the Tampa Bay region has a high concentration of marine research and academic institutions. Because of many local connections in the Tampa Bay area, a large number of opportunities are available to our students through government and private marine agencies and laboratories, public aquaria, marine conservation institutions, environmental consulting firms, and commercial aquaculture firms.

$1Mil Renovation Project

GMSL patio

The National Science Foundation awarded Eckerd College $870,720 to renovate research spaces within the Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory during the summer of 2011. Eckerd contributions to the project bring the total renovation budget to over $1 million. Learn more.