Stephen L. Gardiner

Education

    B.S. in Zoology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , 1970
    M.A. in Invertebrate Zoology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1974
    Ph.D. in Invertebrate Zoology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1979

 

Research Interests

  • Comparative Zoology
  • Phylogeny of Invertebrates
  • Electron Microscopy

The oceans are host to a spectacular array of organismal diversity. In recent years, an assemblage of animals previously unknown to science has been discovered in association with hydrothermal vents and hydrocarbon seeps in the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Among these animals is an unusual group of giant tube worms. These vestimentiferans do not possess a digestive system as adults but rather contain a complex organ that houses endosymbiotic bacteria. For several years we have been investigating the comparative anatomy and development of these worms, using light microscopy and transmission and scanning electron microscopy. Some questions of specific interest to us at the present time include the organization of the specialized tissue that houses the endosymbiotic bacteria, the development of the specialized anterior end of the worm, and what morphological and developmental features offer insight into the phylogenetic relationships of vestimentiferans to other invertebrate groups. A second group of marine worms, the polychaetes, are also of interest, especially the families Oweniidae and Magelonidae. Worms in these families exhibit several plesiomorphic traits that offer possible insight into the organization of the ancestral annelid. Together, vestimentiferans and polychaetes illustrate the high degree of plasticity that is evident in the morphology of marine worms.

Publication

  • Southward, E. C., A. Schulze, and S. L. Gardiner. 2005. Pogonophora (Annelida): form and function. Hydrobiologia 535/536:227-251.
  • Gardiner, S. L. and S. Hourdez. 2003. On the occurrence of the vestimentiferan tube worm Lamellibrachia luymesi van der Land and Nørrevang, 1975 (Annelida: Pogonophora) in hydrocarbon seep communities in the Gulf of Mexico. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 116:380-394
  • Gardiner, S. L., E. McMullin, and C. R. Fisher. 2001. Seepiophila jonesi, a new genus and species of vestimentiferan tube worm (Annelida: Pogonophora) from hydrocarbon seep communities in the Gulf of Mexico. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 114:694-707.
  • Gardiner, S.L. and M.L. Jones (1994) On the significance of larval and juvenile morphology for suggesting phylogenetic relationships of the Vestimentifera. In R. E. Emlet and E. E. Ruppert (eds.): Evolutionary Morphology of Marine Invertebrate Larvae and Juveniles. Amer. Zool. 34: 513-522.
  • Gardiner, S.L. and M.L. Jones (1993) Vestimentifera. In F. W. Harrison and M. E. Rice (eds.): Microscopic Anatomy of Invertebrates, Vol. 12, Onychophora, Chilopoda and Lesser Protostomata. New York: Wiley-Liss, pp. 371-460. [F. W. Harrison, Treatise Editor]