Since the times of Haeckel zoologists have attempted to understand the composition and the relationships among the animal phyla. While morphology has played a fundamental role in elucidating these patterns our understanding of animal phylogeny has changed drastically after the incorporation of molecular data. The widespread use of large fragments of genomes and transcriptomes in modern phylogenetic analyses is helping to perfect the picture of the Tree of Life.
Invertebrates dominate all the ecosystems on earth and are perfect models for studying the patterns of distribution of organisms in our planet. During the past decade I have collected invertebrates in all continents and all oceans and discovered new species to address biodiversity questions and to study biogeographic and phylogenetic patterns.