Yale Peabody Museum Summer Internship
Mia Yabut '12 in the field
Mia Yabut ('12) collecting amphipods

Taxonomy of Western Atlantic Amphipods

Advisor: Eric Lazo-Wasem (Senior Collections Manager, YPM Division of Invertebrate Zoology)


Length: 8 weeks in the summer


Project Description:

Although close to the United States and its proliferation of colleges and universities, the Bahamas have been almost ignored with regards to alpha taxonomy of small crustaceans.  Easily recognizable faunal elements such as corals, echinoderms and shelled mollusks are well known, and there exists many reliable field guides for their recognition and identification.  With the smaller Crustacea however, only a few taxonomic accounts exist, and these are typically limited, and rarely focus on the full component species of a genus or family level group.


In the Division of Invertebrate Zoology there is a wealth of recently collected and, as yet unstudied small crustaceans from tropical and semi-tropical Western Atlantic and Caribbean sites. This material serves as raw material for a student wishing to learn alpha taxonomy; given the state of taxonomy from the above referenced region, the chance for discovering important new distributional records and even new species is very good. Additional material will be obtained during a field expedition to the island of Eleuthera, Bahamas. Following a summer of intensive training and research, a student will be at a point where a serious taxonomic workup of a group can be conducted which could easily be developed as a Senior undergraduate research project with an end goal of a published account.


The student selected for this work will be provided all manner of taxonomic mentoring, guidance on how best to conduct searches for relevant literature, and training in a variety of micro-techniques such as dissections, microphotography, slide making, and when appropriate, Scanning Electron Microscopy. Costs associated with these technical activities will be sponsored by the Division of Invertebrate Zoology.  For the field component, Invertebrate Zoology will all manner of logistical support for the student's work at the Cape Eleuthera Institute, Eleuthera, Bahamas.


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 weeks full-time residency in the division of Invertebrate Zoology.


Stipend: $3000, plus all travel-related costs covered


CLICK HERE to apply!