Master thesis 2018

Phylogeny of Lumbrineridae (Annelida) based on molecular data

Polina Borisova

Moscow State University, Russia


Supervisors:    Dr. Nataliya Budaeva

Dr. Alexander Tzetlin

Project background:

Lumbrineridae is a highly diverse family of bristle worms with world-wide distribution. Despite their poor external morphology and lack of apparent distinctive morphological characters they comprise 19 genera erected mainly based on the structure of the complex maxillae – the upper jaws located in the muscular ventral proboscis.

University museum of Bergen holds an extensive collection of marine invertebrates with recently obtained materials from the Nordic Seas and the west coast of Africa. A number of samples collected in other regions have been already borrowed from research institutions in Germany and Australia. These collections cover about a half of generic diversity of the family and also include numerous representatives of the most species-rich genera.

The aim of the proposed master project is to provide the first molecular-based phylogeny of Lumbrineridae utilizing nuclear and mitochondrial markers and to compare it with published phylogeny based on morphological data (Carrera-Parra, 2006). This will help to access monophyly of the most species-rich genera and to trace the evolution of morphological characters (e.g. the presence of compound anterior falcigers, shape of maxillae, presence of parapodial lobes, etc.).

The objectives of the study are to:

  • identify various genera of lumbrinerids from the materials collected from West Africa, Northern Europe, Iceland, Australia

  • select representatives of all genera available for molecular analysis

  • test primers for various markers (COI, 16S rDNA, 18S rDNA, 28SrDNA)

  • sequence selected markers for different genera of lumbrinerids

  • reconstruct the hypothesis on phylogeny of Lumbrineridae

  • trace evolution of morphological characters (chaetae and jaws) based on phylogenetic reconstruction


Bachelor thesis 2016

Aponuphis (Annelida: Onuphidae) from the coast of West Africa

Polina Borisova

Moscow State University, Russia


Sypervisors:    Dr. Nataliya Budaeva

Dr. Alexander Tzetlin

During his project, Martin has studied an extensive material of Diopatra polychaetes from the shelf areas along the West African coast collected by R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen. He learned the basic methods of taxonomical work such as light microscopy, preparation of slides of parapodia, digital photography as well as scanning electron microscopy. He also worked in the DNA lab and obtained a good number of sequences of 16S rDNA and COI for most of species he had in hand. In his thesis, Martin has described nine new species of Diopatra and found four more species previously reported from the area. He also provided phylogenetic analysis of Diopatra and reported few previously overlooked morphological characters that appeared to by synapomorphies of well supported clades within the genus.

Master thesis 2015 

Diversity and geographical ranges of Diopatra bristle worms (Onuphidae, Annelida) off the coast of West Africa

Martin M. Hektoen

University of Bergen


Supervisors:    Dr. Nataliya Budaeva

Dr. Endre Willassen

Read more about Martin's thesis defense in the invertebrate collection blog