Research Areas and Sub-Specialties

Mammalian Systematics and Evolution

Mammalian systematics and evolution are hot topics of research in several laboratories in the Department of Biology and Marine Biology at UNCW.  These studies typically use several levels of biological organization (biochemical, genetic, cytological, physiological, morphological, behavioral, and ecological) to determine phylogenetic relationships among poorly known marine and terrestrial mammals.  Systematic and evolutionary investigations are important because they discover how organisms are related, they answer questions about the causes and rates of evolutionary change, they identify unique populations that may be endangered or threatened, and they sometimes discover new taxa that are unknown to science.  This knowledge, in turn, allows scientists to assist management agencies in developing guidelines that best provide for the survival of mammals that are critically imperiled and in need of protection.

Faculty researching this area include:

D. Ann Pabst
Wm. David Webster
Marcel van Tuinen

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