The Cowrie Genetic Database Project has been established to rigorously examine the phylogenetic relationships within this diverse group of marine snails using a variety of DNA molecular markers. The proximate goals of the project are essentially twofold:
2. to examine phylogeographic patterning at both the specific and subspecific levels
The ultimate goals of the project are to use these phylogenies to test various theories concerning speciation mechanisms in the tropical marine realm. Such studies help to understand processes that build and maintain marine biodiversity. This work was initiated by Chris Meyer at the University of California at Berkeley (UCB) for his doctoral dissertation under the guidance of Dr. Jere Lipps, and supported by the Univeristy of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP). After completion of his dissertation in the fall of 1998, the work was continued at the University of Guam's Marine Lab (UOGML) with Dr. Gustav Paulay through June of 2000. We are now in the Invertebrate Department at the Florida Museum of Natural History located at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The research has been funded by NSF grants through Systematic Biology and Biological Oceanography.