Barnacles, which are quite unique among crustaceans, have long puzzled evolutionary biologists including Darwin. Yet, despite over two centuries of study, some fundamental questions about barnacle biology remain unanswered.The adult barnacles are permanently attached to the surface and are assumed to reproduce only by copulation with a neighbor using a long penis (in some species up to eight times their body length) or in a few species by self-fertilization. So, in the species that do not self-fertilize, how do isolated individuals that donít have any neighbor in a distance the penis could reach reproduce?The focus of my thesis project is to test mating patterns and the factors affecting them in intertidal barnacles using molecular tools. More specifically, I intend to find out: 1) the mechanisms the isolated individuals use to reproduce, 2) the possibility of spermcast mating in barnacles, 3) how barnacle populations of the same species from different shores/ tidal levels are genetically differentiated.
For additional information, please see:
Marjan Barazandeh, PhD Student
Office: ES-152A, Earth Sciences Building
Phone: (780) 492-3633