SICB Annual Meeting 2010
January 3-7, 2010
Seattle, WA

Symposium: Assembling the Cnidarian Tree of Life

Phylum Cnidaria is one of the earliest branching of the animal tree of life. Cnidaria comprises more than 11,000 described species; among these are prominent members of the marine fauna such as corals, sea anemones, and jellyfish. Their ancient origins, morphological simplicity, and remarkable diversity in life histories have all contributed to long-standing controversies concerning their phylogenetic relationships. An accurate reconstruction of the cnidarian evolutionary tree is critical to interpreting the patterns and inferring the processes that accompanied the early diversification of animals. Recent studies of cnidarian relationships have revealed the placement of enigmatic taxa, resolved higher-level relationships, discerned complex biogeographic patterns, and provided a better understanding of the evolution of coloniality, skeletons, nematocysts, symbiosis and complex life histories in cnidarians. This symposium will present and integrate these new insights on cnidarian evolution.

This symposium was sponsored by the National Science Foundation EF-0531779

This symposium highlights research from an NSF-AToL collaborative project called The Cnidarian Tree of Life Project (CnidToL- The objective of this symposium is to present the latest research on cnidarian phylogenetics in an effort to enhance our understanding of the evolutionary history of the Phylum Cnidaria.

Organized by: Paulyn Cartwright and Marymegan Daly


8:00-8:10    DALY, M. AND CARTWRIGHT, P.
Introduction, brief remarks.

S8.1 Wednesday, Jan. 6, 08:10 DALY, M*; RODRIGUEZ, E: Progress and problems in understanding relationships among sea anemones

S8.2 Wednesday, Jan. 6, 08:40 MCFADDEN, CS*; BRISSON, V; FRANCE, SC: Molecular Phylogenetic Insights into Octocoral Evolution

S8.3 Wednesday, Jan. 6, 09:10 SANCHEZ, Juan A.: Intragenomic ITS2 (rDNA) variation in octocorals: ancestral polymorphisms or footprints of reticulate evolution?

S8.4 Wednesday, Jan. 6, 09:40 FRANCE, S.C.**; PANTE, E.; BRUGLER, M.R.; VAN DER HAM, J.L.: On the evolution of deep-sea octocorals and antipatharians: Patterns revealed from molecular phylogenies

S8.5 Wednesday, Jan. 6, 10:30 BARBEITOS, MS*; ROMANO, SL; LASKER, HR: Phylogenetics and morphological evolution in Scleractinian corals

S8.6 Wednesday, Jan. 6, 11:00 BUDD, A.F.: Rethinking the phylogeny of scleractinian reef corals: reconciling morphologic and molecular data in the families Faviidae and Mussidae

S8.7 Wednesday, Jan. 6, 11:30 CUNNINGHAM, Clifford W*; MIGLIETTA, MariaPia; BUSS, Leo W: Evolution of ontogeny in the Hydractiniidae: Losing jellyfish and committing to the colony stage

S8.8 Wednesday, Jan. 6, 13:00 DAWSON, M.N*; BAYHA, K.M.; GOMEZ DAGLIO, L.E.; COLLINS, A.G.: Phylogeny and Ecology of Jellyfish (Scyphozoa) Mass Occurrences

S8.9 Wednesday, Jan. 6, 13:30 COLLINS, Allen G.: Phylogeny, evolution, and systematics of the stalked jellyfishes (Cnidaria, Staurozoa)

S8.10 Wednesday, Jan. 6, 14:00 DUNN, CW: A survey of cnidarian transcriptomes- diversity through the lens of next-generation sequencing

S8.11 Wednesday, Jan. 6, 14:30 CARTWRIGHT, Paulyn*; BARBEITOS, Marcos S.; COLLINS, Allen G.; DALY, Marymegan; FRANCE, Scott C.; MCFADDEN, Catherine S.: Investigating cnidarian phylogeny using rDNA secondary structure models