Center for Marine Science

CMS Research :: iMESA Lab

The iMESA Lab (integrated Molecular Ecology of Sponges and Ascidians) is located at CMS and seeks to advance current knowledge on the biology and ecology of marine invertebrates as it relates to their susceptibility to anthropogenic impacts and climate change.

Specific research lines include:

1. Stability and significance of symbiotic microbial communities in sponges and ascidians, and in particular: 

- Biodiversity and specificity; 
- Symbiont stability over time and space; 
- Symbiont metabolism and function; and 
- Host ecology and resilience.

2. Invasive ecology of introduced ascidians, including: 

- Species identification and barcoding; 
- Population connectivity and phylogeography; and 
- Life cycle characterization.

Program contacts

Dr. Susanna Lopez-Legentil
Assistant Professor, Biology & Marine Biology

Dr. Patrick Erwin
Assistant Professor, Biology & Marine Biology