Research project: The systematics and phylogeny of deep sea isopods (Asellota)
- Start date:
- National Science Foundation (USA), Australian Research Council (1992)
The systematics and phylogeny of the Asellota (Isopoda) has been my major research program. The suborder Asellota is one of the most diverse isopod groups. Numerically, the Asellota dominate deep-sea crustacean faunas (Wilson, 1989; Poore and Wilson, 1993). Brusca & Wilson (1991) showed that this group evolved early in the phylogenetic radiation of the isopods, and Wilson (1999) suggested that this speciose group has been in the deep sea since the Paleozoic. As a consequence, cryptic groups living in the Indo-West Pacific tropics and in Australian fresh waters may bear clues to this early radiation.
A detailed phylogeny of all Asellota, a long term goal, would test specific hypotheses on character evolution and biogeography, and new areas for further inquiry will emerge as the research continues. Current families under study include: Paramunnidae, Ischnomesidae, Nannoniscidae, Desmosomatidae, Haploniscidae, Mesosignidae and Mictosomatidae.
Dr George D. F. (Buz) Wilson , Principal Research Scientist