Biodiversity and Systematic Biology

Marine Biodiversity

Polychaete Worm

The work of the Marine Biodiversity Section is wholly concerned with the invertebrates (animals without backbones), particularly those living in, or on, the seabed (benthos). These benthic organisms - comprising worms, crustaceans (crabs, shrimps), molluscs (shells, snails) and echinoderms (starfish, urchins) - contribute greatly to the species diversity of the sea and are important in the diets of fish.

At the Museum, we look after the specimen collections (curation), carry out taxonomic research by describing new species, and investigate the distribution and richness of the invertebrate species in the waters around our coasts.