Siddall, Mark E. main content.

Mark E. Siddall

Mark Siddall Headshot Bigger

Curator, Annelida, Mollusca Collections
Principal Investigator, Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics
Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School



  • University of Toronto, Ph.D., 1994
  • University of Toronto, M.Sc., 1991
  • University of Toronto, B.Sc., 1989

Research Interests

Dr. Siddall's career has been devoted to uncovering biodiversity and evolutionary histories for the most successful animal life-history strategy of all time: parasitism. His research has encompassed protistan parasites from giardiasis and malaria to commercially significant shellfish pathogens, helminths, and even blood-feeding ectoparasites from bed bugs to leeches. He presently serves as president-elect of the American Society of Parasitologists and as treasurer of the Willi Hennig Society.

Anchored in a deep a tradition of fieldwork that spans the globe, Siddall has been central to the Sackler Institute of Comparative Genomics adopting and leveraging emergent DNA sequencing technologies to advance biodiversity sciences. The core of this mission is a broadly comparative understanding of genomic evolution comprising a fuller architecture of life than model organism studies allow.

Siddall is a defender of the need to conserve neglected organisms such as leeches. He is also an outspoken advocate for pressing eradicable human parasites to extinction while capturing knowledge about their life-cycles, ecology and genomics as they are decidedly extirpated.

Exhibitions that he has curated at the Museum include The Power of Poison, Picturing Science, and Undersea Oasis. He is also co-curator of the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. His popular book Poison: Sinister Species with Deadly Consequences is available at the Museum shop.

Please contact Dr. Siddall if you are interested in borrowing Annelida or Mollusca, or visiting these parts of the collection.


Division of Invertebrate Zoology

Sackler Center for Comparative Genomics

Richard Gilder Graduate School

Leech Lab


Up-to-date Publication List

Teaching Experience

Faculty Appointments

  • Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School
  • Adjunct Faculty, Columbia University, 2001–present
  • Adjunct Faculty, CUNY, 2000–present
  • Assistant Professor–Michigan Fellow, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, 1996–1999
  • Adjunct Faculty, School of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, 1994–1996

Courses Taught

  • Next Generation DNA sequencing – Richard Gilder Graduate School – 2013, 2014
  • Systematics and Biogeography – Richard Gilder Graduate School –  2011,  2013
  • Field Parasitology – Richard Gilder Graduate School – 2011, 2014
  • Marine Biodiversity Surveys and Inventories – Richard Gilder Graduate School – May 2009
  • Phylogenetics—Just Methods, College of LS&A, University of Michigan, 1998-1999
  • Phylogenetic Systematics, College of LS&A, University of Michigan, Fall 1996
  • Molecular Ecology of Marine Symbioses, Bermuda Biological Station for Research, 1995
  • Phylogeny and Macroevolution, School of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, 1995
  • Advanced Phylogenetic Systematics, Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, 1992–1993; 1993–1994
  • Parasitic Helminths and Arthropods, Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, 1994

Graduate Advisees

  • Michael Tessler, Richard Gilder Graduate School
  • Johnathon Foox,  Richard Gilder Graduate School
  • Sebastian Kvist, Richard Gilder Graduate School
  • Alejandro Oceguera, CUNY
  • Anna Jane Phillips, CUNY
  • Megan Cevasco, CUNY
  • Elizabeth Borda, CUNY
  • Kathleen Apakupakul, University of Michigan
  • Brenda S. Flores, College of William and Mary

Graduate Committees

  • Spencer Galen, Richard Gilder Graduate
  • Bernardo Santos, Richard Gilder Graduate School
  • Carly Tribul, Richard Gilder Graduate School
  • Andre de Carvalho, Richard Gilder Graduate School
  • Linda Gormezano, CUNY
  • Mark Weckel, CUNY
  • Frank Fontanella, CUNY
  • Julianne Williams, College of William and Mary
  • Indra Neil Sarkar, Columbia University
  • Vincent Rousett, Museum d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris