Rodriguez, Estefania main content.

Estefania Rodriguez

Estafania-Rodgriguez

Associate Curator, Cnidaria, Crustacea, Other Invertebrate Phyla
Principal Investigator, Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics
Associate Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School

Phone:
212-769-5244
Fax:
212-769-5277
Curriculum Vitae (short version)

Education

  • Universidad de Sevilla (Spain), Ph.D., 2007
  • Universidad de Sevilla (Spain), B.S., 1999

Research Interests

Dr. Rodriguez is a systematist with a fundamental interest in understanding morphological diversity, systematics, evolutionary history, and ecology of sea anemones (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Actiniaria). Sea anemones are among the most diverse and successful members of the anthozoan subclass Hexacorallia, being found in all marine benthic habitats at all depths and latitudes. Despite their morphological simplicity as tissue level organisms, sea anemones are an ancient lineage whose members have remarkably diverse life history strategies, including all reproductive strategies. Sea anemones play an important role in benthic-pelagic coupling as part of the benthic suspension feeding community, transferring energy to the benthos from the water column and releasing metabolites, gametes, and offspring into the water column. Their ecological success is undoubtedly facilitated by their propensity for engaging in symbiotic relationships with other animals, including hermit crabs, mollusks, and clown fish. From the perspective of phylogenetic systematics and evolutionary biology, their long evolutionary history and remarkable diversity poses problems of broader theoretical or methodological consequence. Dr. Rodriguez’s research on sea anemones combines monographic systematics with phylogenetics and empirical studies of biogeography, reproduction, and ecology.

Dr. Rodriguez is interested in addressing questions such as convergence of morphological characters, phylogenetic value of traditionally used taxonomic characters, and relationship between high levels of intraspecific morphological variability and reproductive strategies. Much of her research has focused on groups diverse in polar and deep-sea habitats, but sea anemones are ubiquitous in the marine environment. Highlights of her research program are collaborative relationships derived from work in extreme environments, such as Antarctica and chemosynthetic vents and seeps, a strong emphasis on fieldwork and in specimen collection, and the multidisciplinary approach of her research.

Please contact Dr. Rodriguez if you are interested in borrowing Cnidaria, Crustacea or "Other Invertebrate Phyla" specimens, or visiting these parts of the collection.

Teaching Experience

  • 2013. “Fall Graduate Student Symposium”. Course in the Comparative Biology PhD Program at the Richard Gilder Graduate School (AMNH, New York) (1 credit). Fall 2013.
  • 2013‐2014. “Comparative Biology Seminar Series”. Core course in the Comparative Biology PhD Program at the Richard Gilder Graduate School (AMNH, New York). (2 credits). Fall 2013.
  • 2012-2013. “Comparative Biology Seminar Series”. Core course in the Comparative Biology PhD Program at the Richard Gilder Graduate School (AMNH, New York). (2 credits). Spring 2013. 
  • 2011-2012. “Comparative Biology Seminar Series”. Core course in the Comparative Biology PhD Program at the Richard Gilder Graduate School (AMNH, New York). (2 credits). Fall 2011.
  • 2011. “Fall Graduate Student Symposium”. Course in the Comparative Biology PhD Program at the Richard Gilder Graduate School (AMNH, New York) (1 credit). Fall 2011.
  • 2010-2011. “Comparative Biology Seminar Series”. Core course in the Comparative Biology PhD Program at the Richard Gilder Graduate School (AMNH, New York). (2 credits). Fall-Spring 2010-11.
  • 2010. “Fall Graduate Student Symposium”. Course in the Comparative Biology PhD Program at the Richard Gilder Graduate School (AMNH, New York) (1 credit). Fall 2010.
  • 2008 “Anthozoa (Cnidaria): Anatomy and Methods”. Course for biology majors #881.06 at the Dept. of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology at Ohio State University (2 credits). Winter 2008.

Graduated Students and Postdoctoral Scholars Advised

  • Alejandro Grajales (2013) PhD in Comparative Biology at the Richard Gilder Graduate School (RGGS): “Systematics and taxonomy of the family Aiptasiidae (Hexacorallia: Actiniaria) and population genetics of the species Aiptasia pallida.” Principal advisor.
  • Adolfo Lara (PhD expected 2017) PhD in Comparative Biology at the Richard Gilder Graduate School (RGGS). Principal advisor.
  • Paul Larson (PhD expected 2014) PhD in Evolution, Ecology, & Organismal Biology at Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio): “Systematics and reproductive ecology of Epiactis (Cnidaria: Anthozoa). PhD. External Committee member.
  • Ricardo Enrique González Muñoz (2014) PhD in “Ciencias del Mar y Limnología” at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM). External advisor, PhD. committee member.
  • Luciana Gusmão (2010) PhD in Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology at Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio). PhD dissertation Committee member (Nov 2010).
  • Shaadi F. Pooyaei Mehr (2013) PhD (CUNY/AMNH) in “Molecular evolution of fluorescent proteins”. PhD. external Committee member.
  • Mercer Brugler (2011‐2014) Postdoctoral fellow at the AMNH “Developing species level molecular markers for sea anemones”.

External Links