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This version of NSU News has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of NSU News, visit news.nova.edu.

This version of SharkBytes has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of SharkBytes, visit sharkbytes.nova.edu.

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3301 College Avenue
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nova.edu/prmc

SharkBytes Archives

Contact

Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

(954) 262-5353
(800) 541-6682 x25353
Fax: (954) 262-3954
communications@nova.edu

Oceanographic Center Expedition Finds New Species in Indonesian Waters

Charles Messing, Ph.D. and doctoral student Kristian Taylor photograph and prepare to collect a small crinoid.

Charles Messing, Ph.D. and doctoral student Kristian Taylor photograph and prepare to collect a small crinoid.

Charles Messing, Ph.D., and doctoral student Kristian Taylor of NSU’s Oceanographic Center recently returned from a five-week research expedition to investigate the echinoderm fauna of Raja Ampat, Indonesia, in the heart of the Coral Triangle. This is the region with the highest marine biodiversity on earth.

The expedition focused on the feather stars (Crinoidea), Messing’s specialty, as well as sea cucumbers and other echinoderms. The research team also included Gregory Rouse, Ph.D.; doctoral student Mindi Summers (Scripps Institute of Oceanography); doctoral student Allison Miller (University of Guam); professor Simon Leatemia; student Rico Mailissa (University of West Papua) and Inayat Al Hakim and Indra Vimono (LIPI—Indonesian Institute of Sciences).

The team collected more than 40 crinoid species, including one likely new species. For comparison, the entire shallow western Atlantic – from the Carolinas to Brazil – supports only nine species. The expedition was funded as part of the collaborative NSF grant: Assembling the Echinoderm Tree of Life. Messing said he found several varieties that he had never seen before, as well as color patterns that would not be out of place in a “Barnum and Bailey” circus clown car.

A crowd of Colobometra perspinosa feather stars on an orange sea fan.

A crowd of Colobometra perspinosa feather stars on an orange sea fan.