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

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.

Links

Phylogenetics of Anthozoa

Bocas Arts

Taxa Gloss

Coral Rehousing & Digitization Project

Publications

Gusmão LC, Grajales A, Rodríguez (2018) Sea Anemones through X-rays: Visualization of two species of Diadumene (Cnidaria, Actiniaria) using Micro-CT. American Museum Novitates, 3907: 1-47. Doi.org/10.1206/3907.1.

Brasier MJ, Grant SM, Trathan PN, Allcock L, Ashford O, Blagbrough H, Brandt A, Danis B, Downey R, Eléaume M, Enderlein P, Ghiglione C, Hogg O, Linse K, Mackenzie M, Moreau C, Robinson L, Rodríguez E, Spiridonov V, Tate A, Taylor M, Waller C, Wiklund H, Griffiths HJ (2018). Benthic biodiversity in the South Orkney Islands Southern Shelf Marine Protected Area. Biodiversity. doi.org/10.1080/14888386.2018.1468821.

Brugler MR, Gonzalez-Muñoz R., Tessler M, Rodríguez E. (2018) An EPIC journey to locate single-copy nuclear markers in sea anemones (Cnidaria: Anthozoa). Zoologica Scripta, doi: 10.1111/zsc.12309.

Barragán Y, Sánchez C, Hooker Y, Rodríguez E. First inventory of sea anemones (Cnidaria: Actiniaria) from La Paz Bay, Southern Gulf of California (Mexico)”. Zootaxa (in press).

Quattrini A, Faircloth B, Dueñas L, Bridge T, Brugler M, Calixto-Botía I, DeLeo D, Foret S, Herrera S; Lee S, Miller D, Prada C, Rádis-Baptista G, Ramírez-Portilla C, Sánchez J, Rodríguez E, McFadden C (2017) Universal target-enrichment baits for anthozoan (Cnidaria) phylogenomics: New approaches to long-standing problems. Mol Ecol Res, doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12736.

Barragán Y, Sánchez C, Rodríguez E (2018) Tenactis gen. nov. (Actiniaria, Haloclavidae) a new genus of sea anemones from the Gulf of California, Mexico. J Mar Biol Ass UK, doi: 10.1017/S0025315418000437.

Daly M, Crowley LM, Larson P, Rodríguez E, Heestand Saucier E, Fautin DG (2017) Anthopleura and the phylogeny of Actinioidea (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Actiniaria). Org Div & Evol 17:545–564. Doi: 10.1007/s13127-017-0326-6.

Brown T, Otero C, Grajales A, Rodríguez E, Rodriguez-Lanetty M (2017) Worldwide exploration of the microbiome harbored by the cnidarian model, Exaiptasia pallida (Agassiz in Verrill, 1864) indicates a lack of bacterial association specificity at a lower taxonomic rank. PeerJ, doi 10.7717/peerj.3235.

Rodríguez C, Ayala-Sumuano JT, Licea A, Rudiño-Piñera E, Rodríguez E (2017) Sequencing and de novo transcriptome assembly of Anthopleura dowii (Verrill, 1869) from Mexico. Genomics Data, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gdata.2016.11.022

Collin R, Fredericq S, Wilson Freshwater D, Gilbert E, Madrid M, Maslakova S, Miglietta MP, Rocha RM, Rodríguez E, Thacker RW (2016) TaxaGloss - A Glossary and Translation Tool for Biodiversity Studies. Biodiversity Data Journal, doi: 10.3897/BDJ.4.e10732.

Grajales A, Rodríguez E (2015) Elucidating diversity within the Aiptasiidae, a widespread cnidarian-dinoflagellate model system (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Actiniaria: Metridioidea). Mol Phylogen Evol 94(A):252-263. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev. 2015.09.004.

Grajales A, Rodríguez E, Thornhill DJ (2015). Patterns of Symbiodinium spp. associations within the family Aiptasiidae, a monophyletic lineage of symbiotic of sea anemones (Cnidaria, Actiniaria). Coral Reefs, doi: 10.1007/s00338-015-1352-5

Foox J, Brugler MR, Siddall M, Rodríguez E (2015) Multiplexed pyrosequencing of nine sea anemone (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Hexacorallia: Actiniaria) mitochondrial genomes. Mitochondrial DNA, Doi: 10.3109/19401736.2015.1053114.

Gonzalez-Muñoz R, Simões N, Tello-Musi JL, Sánchez-Rodríguez J, Rodríguez E (2015) New records of sea anemones (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Actiniaria) in the Mexican Caribbean. Mar Biodiversity Rec 8: 1-7 (e100). Doi:10.1017/S1755267215000767.

Gonzalez-Muñoz R, Simões N, Mascaro M, Tello-Musi JL, Brugler MR, Rodríguez E (2014) Morphological and molecular variability of the sea anemone Phymanthus crucifer (Cnidaria, Actiniaria, Actinoidea). J Mar Biol Ass UK. doi:10.1017/S0025315414000988.

Rodríguez E, Fautin DG (2014) Hexacorallia. In: De Broyer C, Koubbi P, Griffiths HJ, Raymond B, Udekem d’Acoz Cd’, et al. (eds.). Biogeographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean.  Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, Cambridge, pp. 113-116

Häussermann V, Rodríguez E (2014) A new genus and species of isanthid sea anemone (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Actiniaria) from Chilean Patagonia, Anthoparactis fossii n. gen. et sp. Helgol Mar Res 68(3): 431-438. doi: 10.1007/s10152-014-0399-y.

Grajales A, Rodríguez E (2014) Morphological revision of the genus Aiptasia and the family Aiptasiidae (Cnidaria, Actiniaria, Metridioidea). Zootaxa 3826(1), 055–100.

Rodríguez E, Barbeitos M, Brugler MR, Crowley L, Gusmão L, Häussermann V, Grajales A, Reft A, Daly M (2014) Hidden among sea anemones: The first comprehensive phylogenetic reconstruction of the order Actiniaria (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Hexacorallia) reveals a novel group of hexacorals. PLoS ONE 9(5): e96998. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096998.

Teaching Experience

  • 2018. “Foundations of classifications”. Course in the Comparative Biology PhD Program at the Richard Gilder Graduate School (AMNH, New York) (3 credits). Spring 2018.
  • 2016. “Taxonomy and Biology of Sea Anemones (Cnidaria)”. Bocas del Toro Research Station, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), Panama. June 2016.
  • 2014. “Fall Graduate Student Symposium”. Course in the Comparative Biology PhD Program at the Richard Gilder Graduate School (AMNH, New York) (1 credit). Fall 2014.
  • 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). Autumn 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) Ph.D. 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 (2018) PhD in Comparative Biology at the Richard Gilder Graduate School (RGGS). Principal advisor.
  • Polet Yamaly Barragán Marin (2018) M.S. at Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur (México). Principal Advisor and External Committee Member.
  • Rebeca Zapata Guardiola (2014) Ph.D. in Zoology and Ecology at Universidad de Sevilla (Spain): “Diversity and evolution of Antarctic gorgonians (Octocorallia, Primnoidae), distribution, growth and reproductive patterns”. Ph.D. External Committee Member.
  • Ricardo Enrique González Muñoz (2014) Ph.D. in “Ciencias del Mar y Limnología” at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM). External advisor; Ph.D. External Committee Member.
  • Marisol Mendoza (2013) B.S. in Biology at Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Mexico; B.S. External Committee Member.
  • Shaadi F. Pooyaei Mehr (2013) PhD (CUNY/AMNH) in “Molecular evolution of fluorescent proteins”. Ph.D. External Committee Member.
  • Luciana Gusmão (2010) Ph.D. in Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology at Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio). PhD. Dissertation external Committee Member.
  • Mercer R. Brugler (2011-2014) Postdoctoral fellow at the AMNH: “Developing species level molecular markers for sea anemones”.
  • Luciana Gusmão (2015-2016) Postdoctoral fellow at the AMNH: “Systematics and biogeography of deep-sea anemones from Brazil”. (2016-2018) Postdoctoral fellow at the AMNH: “Systematics and biogeography of deep-sea anemones”.
  • Benjamin Titus (2018-2020) Postdoctoral fellow at the AMNH: “Molecular systematics and species delimitation of the clownfish sea anemones: are there really only 10 species?”.