Yale Peabody Museum Summer Internships

Taxonomy of Tropical Amphipod Crustaceans

Advisor: Eric Lazo-Wasem


Length: 8 weeks in the summer


Project Description:

Amphipod crustaceans are ubiquitous in all marine and freshwater habitats, and generally speaking, diversity is highest in sub-tropical and tropical habitats. Due to their small size (typically less than 10 mm) and complicated body plan, relatively few specialists have tackled the taxonomy of this important crustacean group. In spite of the growing array of molecular techniques, the basic identity of specific amphipods relies primarily on an evaluation of morphological characters.


In the Division of Invertebrate Zoology there is a wealth of recently collected amphipods from various subtropical and tropical habitats (Bermuda, Bahamas, and the Caribbean). This material is almost completely unstudied, and as it was amassed through targeted collecting by specialists, it offers an unparalleled resource for students wishing to learn alpha taxonomy. The careful, systematic study of almost any genus or family level group will undoubtedly lead to the discovery of important new distributional records or species new to science in need of description. This basic research is well within the capacity of a highly motivated student working with direct mentoring by the Senior Collections Manager. Following a summer of relatively intensive training and study, a student will be at a point where a serious taxonomic workup of a group can be conducted, and by augmenting study with potential fieldwork opportunities (in particular to collect material for genetic analysis), a well-developed senior research project and subsequent publication would be a logical outcome.


The student selected for this work will be provided all manner of taxonomic mentoring, guidance on how best to conduct valid and useful literature searches, and training in a variety of micro techniques such as dissections, microphotography, slide making and digitization, and, when appropriate, access to and use of the Scanning Electron Microscopy facility located in Geology & Geophysics. Costs associated with these technical activities will be underwritten by the Division of Invertebrate Zoology. A field component is highly encouraged, and the division of Invertebrate Zoology can provide logistical support, supply costs, and guidance in the obtaining of necessary field permits to conduct work at an appropriate site.  A current target is also to begin shallow-water field work along the coast of Guanacaste, Costa Rica.


Students interested should have a strong interest in marine invertebrates as demonstrated by previous experience or classwork, and be able to make an extended summer commitment of 8-week residency in the division (including fieldwork).



Stipend for lodging, food, etc.$2500
Travelup to $750, if applicable
TOTALup to $3250


CLICK HERE to apply!