Skip to main content

Julia Sigwart and her group work on the evolution of diversity in molluscs and other marine invertebrates. Morphology shapes how each species responds to environmental change, in the modern world and in the fossil record. They often focus on very strange body forms, like bivalved gastropods, or apparently conservative forms, like chitons. They use tomography to visualise animal adaptations in 3D and understand the world from other organisms‘ points of view. Understanding evolutionary radiations, survivorship, and the way animals respond to environmental change, require high resolution data from multiple disciplines, and the research infrastructure in museum collections. The work in her research group crosses genetics, morphology, anatomy, neurobiology, physiology, computational modelling, and experimental approaches, to understand species diversity. Some of these are discussed in her recent book, What Species Mean: A User’s Guide to the Units of Biodiversity, published by CRC/Taylor & Francis in early 2018.