Project Information
Collaborative Research: Genetic connectivity and biogeographic patterns of Antarctic benthic invertebrates
Start Date:
End Date:
The research will explore the genetics, diversity, and biogeography of Antarctic marine benthic invertebrates, seeking to overturn the widely accepted suggestion that benthic fauna do not constitute a large, panmictic population. The investigators will sample adults and larvae from undersampled regions of West Antarctica that, combined with existing samples, will provide significant coverage of the western hemisphere of the Southern Ocean. The objectives are: 1) To assess the degree of genetic connectivity (or isolation) of benthic invertebrate species in the Western Antarctic using high-resolution genetic markers. 2) To begin exploring planktonic larvae spatial and bathymetric distributions for benthic shelf invertebrates in the Bellinghausen, Amundsen and Ross Seas. 3) To continue to develop a Marine Antarctic Genetic Inventory (MAGI) that relates larval and adult forms via DNA barcoding. Broader impacts include traditional forms of training (postdocs, graduate studentships, undergraduate research experiences) and lectures to K-12 groups.
Person Role
Halanych, Kenneth Investigator
Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems Award # 1043745
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Deployment Type
NBP1210 ship expedition
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Product Level:
Not provided
Repository Title (link) Format(s) Status
R2R Expedition Data None exist
R2R Expedition Data None exist
  1. Learman, D. R., Henson, M. W., Thrash, J. C., Temperton, B., Brannock, P. M., Santos, S. R., … Halanych, K. M. (2016). Biogeochemical and Microbial Variation across 5500 km of Antarctic Surface Sediment Implicates Organic Matter as a Driver of Benthic Community Structure. Frontiers in Microbiology, 7. (doi:10.3389/fmicb.2016.00284)
  2. Havird, J. C., Mitchell, R. T., Henry, R. P., & Santos, S. R. (2016). Salinity-induced changes in gene expression from anterior and posterior gills of Callinectes sapidus (Crustacea: Portunidae) with implications for crustacean ecological genomics. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part D: Genomics and Proteomics, 19, 34–44. (doi:10.1016/j.cbd.2016.06.002)
  3. Santagata, S., Ade, V., Mahon, A. R., Wisocki, P. A., & Halanych, K. M. (2018). Compositional Differences in the Habitat-Forming Bryozoan Communities of the Antarctic Shelf. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 6. (doi:10.3389/fevo.2018.00116)
  4. Galaska, M. P., Sands, C. J., Santos, S. R., Mahon, A. R., & Halanych, K. M. (2016). Geographic structure in the Southern Ocean circumpolar brittle starOphionotus victoriae(Ophiuridae) revealed from mtDNA and single-nucleotide polymorphism data. Ecology and Evolution, 7(2), 475–485. (doi:10.1002/ece3.2617)
  5. Ingels, J., Aronson, R.B., Smith, C.R., Baco, A., Bik, H.M., Blake, J.A., Brandt, A., Cape, M., Demaster, D., Dolan, E., Domack, E., Fire, S., Geisz, H., Gigliotti, M., Griffiths, H., Halanych, K.M., Havermans, C., Huettmann, F., Ishman, S., Kranz, S.A., Leventer, A., Mahon, A.R., McClintock, J., McCormick, M.L., Mitchell, B.G., Murray, A.E., Peck, L., Rogers, A., Shoplock, B., Smith, K.E., Steffel, B., Stukel, M.R., Sweetman, A.K., Taylor, M., Thurber, A.R., Truffer, M., van de Putte, A., Vanreusel, A., Zamora-Duran, M.A., 2021. Antarctic ecosystem responses following ice-shelf collapse and iceberg calving: Science review and future research. WIREs Climate Change 12, e682. (doi:10.1002/wcc.682)
  6. Kocot, K. M., Todt, C., Mikkelsen, N. T., & Halanych, K. M. (2019). Phylogenomics of Aplacophora (Mollusca, Aculifera) and a solenogaster without a foot. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286(1902), 20190115. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2019.0115)
  7. Kocot, K. M., Tassia, M. G., Halanych, K. M., & Swalla, B. J. (2018). Phylogenomics offers resolution of major tunicate relationships. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 121, 166–173. (doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2018.01.005)
  8. Bogantes, V. E., Whelan, N. V., Webster, K., Mahon, A. R., & Halanych, K. M. (2019). Unrecognized diversity of a scale worm,Polyeunoa laevis(Annelida: Polynoidae), that feeds on soft coral. Zoologica Scripta, 49(2), 236–249. (doi:10.1111/zsc.12400)
  9. Dietz, L., Dömel, J. S., Leese, F., Mahon, A. R., & Mayer, C. (2019). Phylogenomics of the longitarsal Colossendeidae: The evolutionary history of an Antarctic sea spider radiation. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 136, 206–214. (doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2019.04.017)
  10. Galaska, M. P., Li, Y., Kocot, K. M., Mahon, A. R., & Halanych, K. M. (2019). Conservation of mitochondrial genome arrangements in brittle stars (Echinodermata, Ophiuroidea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 130, 115–120. (doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2018.10.002)
  11. Harder, A. M., Halanych, K. M., & Mahon, A. R. (2015). Diversity and distribution within the sea spider genus Pallenopsis (Chelicerata: Pycnogonida) in the Western Antarctic as revealed by mitochondrial DNA. Polar Biology, 39(4), 677–688. (doi:10.1007/s00300-015-1823-8)
  12. Li, Y., Kocot, K. M., Tassia, M. G., Cannon, J. T., Bernt, M., & Halanych, K. M. (2018). Mitogenomics Reveals a Novel Genetic Code in Hemichordata. Genome Biology and Evolution, 11(1), 29–40. (doi:10.1093/gbe/evy254)
  13. Garber, A. I., Zehnpfennig, J. R., Sheik, C. S., Henson, M. W., Ramírez, G. A., Mahon, A. R., … Learman, D. R. (2021). Metagenomics of Antarctic Marine Sediment Reveals Potential for Diverse Chemolithoautotrophy. mSphere. (doi:10.1128/msphere.00770-21)
  14. Roberts, S., Mahon, A., & Halanych, K. (2016). Biomechanics of Locomotion in Antarctic Sea Spiders (Pycnogonida). The FASEB Journal, 30(S1). (doi:10.1096/fasebj.30.1_supplement.1229.8)

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