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The Cunningham Lab

Molecular Systematics and
Biogeography of Marine Organisms

Cliff Cunningham
Department of Biology
Duke University
Box 90338
Durham, NC 27708
Phone 919-660-7356

Research Areas: Click on Headings for Detailed Web Pages with Links and pdf's

SEEPC: An NSF collaboration to study connectivity between
Cold Methane Seeps in the Western Atlantic

  • Cunningham Lab (Duke Campus)/Van Dover Lab (Duke Marine Lab)
    Next Gen Sequencing to infer directionality of dispersal between seeps

  • Craig Young/Svetlana Maslokova- Oregon Institute of Marine Biology
    MOCNESS larval trapping and barcoding to identify where deep sea larvae can be found

  • Ruoying He/David Eggleston- NC State
    Parameterizing and designing 3D ocean circulation models


(Coordinating Research On the North Atlantic)

An NSF research coordination network
to study the trans-Atlantic biota

  • Coordinating trans-Atlantic phylogeographic projects and tissue collection across all taxa
  • Compiling a virtual handbook of trans-Atlantic species found in Europe and North America
  • Coordinating comparative ecological trans-Atlantic studies between European, Canadian, Icelandic, and American scientists
  • Synthesizing our knowledge of biogeographic histories of North Atlantic Species with paleontological and oceanographical data
  • Synthesizing long-term benthic ecological sampling with long-term oceanographic data

Arthropod Phylogenomics

  • Goal of 100 nuclear protein coding genes from 85 arthropod taxa
  • Multiple origins of the crab-like form

Hydrozoan PEET Project

  • Revising the Hydractiniidae, Stylasteriidae and Campanulariidae
  • A bibliographical database for Hydrozoan Taxonomy
  • The Hydrozoan Sequencing Project


Evaluating Phylogenetic and
Population Genetic Methods

  • 6-parameter Parsimony
  • Ancestral State Reconstruction
  • Experimental Population Genetics