Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan


Recipient of Best Student Oral Presentation Award


Exploring evolutionary trends within the Pennellidae (Copepoda: Siphonostomatoida) using molecular data [oral presentation]

I am honored to receive a Student Award at the e-ICOC 2022. I want to thank my co-authors and all the collaborators for their cooperation; I could not have done it alone. This award encourages me to work even harder in my research on copepods.

I am studying the phylogeny and taxonomy of Siphonostomatoida by combining molecules and morphology. Molecular phylogenetic analysis is fascinating because it allows me to propose new insights that have not been considered before: convergent evolution, new synapomorphies, and problems with the current classification. This time, I presented the phylogeny of Pennellidae, which have a highly modified morphology, such as a worm-like or elongated body shape, which is atypical for crustaceans and makes studies of their evolution and functional morphology exciting. However, because of its strange morphology, the phylogeny and taxonomy of the group are confusing. Molecular phylogenetic analysis in this study suggested a new synapomorphy in the Pennellidae, the coiled egg strings, and revealed a polyphyletic genus which is problematic for classification. Because the taxonomy and phylogeny of Pennellidae and other highly modified copepods are often obscured, I will continue to work on their phylogeny and taxonomy combining molecular sequence data and morphology. Furthermore, I would like to study the genes that underlie the expression of their unique morphology.

This year's meeting was held online due to COVID-19, but I look forward to meeting all participants in Hiroshima at the next ICOC in 2024 and discussing the fascinating Copepoda.