Curatorial Staff

man in grey tshirt with arms crossed and looking at the camera on the deck of a large boatDr. Gustav Paulay

Curator of Marine Malacology



John Slapcinsky
Collections Manager



woman in pink/red tank top on the right of the frame looking back over her shoulder. cloudy rainforest stretching out past herAmanda Bemis
Collections Manager

Mandy has been working in the Invertebrate Zoology division of the FLMNH since 2004. In addition to caring for the collection, she also dabbles in the taxonomy of phyllidiid sea slugs and has cultivated a recent interest in polyclad flatworms.

 Volunteers and Collections Assistants

Current Students

woman in blue and black wetsuit standing in front of some rocks with lots of gear including a camera on a white pvc standBrittany Cummings
Ph.D. Candidate, Zoology

I study small crustaceans called amphipods. My dissertation research focuses on particularly diverse amphipods called corophioids which exhibit many weird and wonderful body forms. Some corophioid species live in tubes or build sleeping bags from algae, and others suspension feed off sea urchin spines or spend their lives on whales. I am using next-generation sequencing to investigate how the evolution of silk glands may have ignited corophioid diversification. I am also using SCUBA surveys to improve eDNA detection of rare amphipod species and investigate purported mimicry in the colorful corophioid species complex Podocerus cristatus. My work will generate one of the first phylogenomic analyses of amphipods and provide the framework to unravel the evolutionary and ecological mysteries of these strange crustaceans.

woman in wetsuit and cap smiling on a boat with water and rocks and a little sandy beach in the backgroundAbigail Uehling
Ph.D. Candidate, Biology

I study sea star biogeography and evolution. My research is particularly focused on patterns of biogeography across the Arabian Peninsula, a region that has steep environmental gradients such as wide ranges in temperature, salinity and nutrient levels. I am trying to untangle how oceanic fronts, life history, and environment contribute to asteroid diversification across this region. I am also broadly interested in echinoderm evolution.

Jessica Whelpley
Ph.D. Candidate, Biology