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Systematics of the Peyssonneliaceae (Peyssonneliales), a family of crustose marine red algae

Systematics of the Peyssonneliaceae (Peyssonneliales), a family of crustose marine red algae

Red algae are among the dominant photosynthetic organisms in the sea. Many are leafy seaweeds, but a large number grow as crust-like pavements on the ocean floor. This project will examine molecular gene sequences and morphological structures in a re-evaluation of the classification and evolution of these crust-like red algae. Using new as well as existing collections of algae, a specimen-based systematic treatment will be produced. The study will provide correct names, species and genus descriptions, and decipher phylogenetic relationships of these red algae worldwide. This family is of great ecological significance in the deep-water marine environments worldwide, with some species involved in the establishment of red algal nodules common in the deep sea.

This project will provide resources essential to future research and educational training in the biodiversity of seaweeds that share a crust-like habit. The results of this study should prove useful as a basis for interpreting morphological evolution and systematic relationships within a phylogenetic framework in other groups of red algae. Training and outreach will be conducted at many levels, including the production of databases and websites, and the posting of video clips on YouTube in order to reach a wide audience that may not be familiar with the concepts of basic scientific research, biodiversity, marine algae, or evolutionary approaches in general. These video clips will be easily accessible in K-12 classrooms in Louisiana and beyond.

Principal Investigator
Daniela de Lima Gabriel

Daniela de Lima Gabriel

Position: Post-Doc Researcher
Other members
Suzanne Fredericq (PI)
Funded by
NSF Systematic Biology
2009 (Duration: 3 years)
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