Abigail J Reft

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Sea anemones (order Actiniaria) are among the most diverse and successful members of the anthozoan subclass Hexacorallia, occupying benthic marine habitats across all depths and latitudes. Actiniaria comprises approximately 1,200 species of solitary and skeleton-less polyps and lacks any anatomical synapomorphy. Although monophyly is anticipated based on(More)
The mitochondrial genome of basal animals is generally more slowly evolving than that of bilaterians. This difference in rate complicates the study of relationships among members of these lineages and the discovery of cryptic species or the testing of morphological species concepts within them. We explore the properties of mitochondrial and nuclear(More)
Mechanoreception, the sensing of mechanical forces, is an ancient means of orientation and communication and tightly linked to the evolution of motile animals. In flies, the transient-receptor-potential N protein (TRP-N) was found to be a cilia-associated mechanoreceptor. TRP-N belongs to a large and diverse family of ion channels. Its unusually long(More)
This paper presents a learning approach for detecting nematocysts in Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images. The image dataset was collected and made available to us by biologists for the purposes of morphological studies of corals, jellyfish, and other species in the phylum Cnidaria. Challenges for computer vision presented by this biological domain are(More)
Cnidae are complex intracellular capsules made by all cnidarians. The most diverse of these capsules are nematocysts, which are made by all members of the phylum; spirocysts and ptychocysts are made only by members of some lineages, and they show less functional and structural diversity. In nematocysts, the apex has been shown to be either a hinged cap(More)
Using scanning and transmission electron microscopy, we studied formation of the structure at the apical end of sea anemone nematocysts through which the tubule everts at discharge. In anemones of the genus Metridium, we found that each of the three solid triangular apical flaps comprises two layers that are continuous with those of the capsule wall: the(More)
The fauna of deep-sea hydrothermal vents are among the most isolated and inaccessible biological communities on Earth. Most vent sites can only be visited by subsea vehicles, which can and do move freely among these communities. Researchers assume individuals of the regionally homogeneous vent fauna are killed by the change in hydrostatic pressure the(More)
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