Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


Seminar March 27, 2023: Dr. Joseph Ryan

Dr. Joseph Ryan stands in his lab next to a microscope in a lab coat and plaid button-up. He looks into the camera at an angle show casing his short spiked hair.
Joseph Ryan
Marine Bioscience
University of Florida

Please join us Monday March 27 at 12:40 pm for the UGA Department of Marine Sciences seminar. Dr. Joseph Ryan, an Associate Professor at the University of Florida - Whitney Lab for Marine Bioscience, will present his work entitled The first and last million years of evolution in the ctenophore lineage. If anyone would like to meet with the speaker after the talk, please email Dr. Frischer to set up a meeting (



Current evidence suggests that ctenophores (comb jellies) are the earliest diverging animal phyla, which has led to controversy concerning whether neural and other electrical cell types were present in the last common ancestor or arose independently multiple times in evolution. To shed light on this debate and the first million years of ctenophore evolution, I will discuss our ongoing research, which incorporates genomics, single-cell transcriptomics, phylogenetics, as well as electrophysiology and is congruent with a single origin of the nervous system in animals. Additionally, we have conducted research on the phylogeography of the holopelagic ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi. This animal is native to a vast range of the Atlantic coastline of North, Central, and South America (a 25,000 kilometers range), and we have sequenced 150 nuclear and mitochondrial genomes from 13 populations spanning from Woods Hole, MA to Fort Pierce, MA. Our findings provide insight into the speciation process of holopelagic animals and expand our understanding of the last million years of ctenophore evolution.


The Zoom link for those of you joining from your computers will be Marine Sciences Room 239 and the Skidaway Auditorium will either host the speaker or have a live feed of the talk.


The room will open at 12:25 pm, and the talk will begin at 12:40 pm.

Support us

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.