Heather Bracken-Grissom, PhD

My name is Heather Bracken-Grissom and I am an Assistant Professor at Florida International University in the Marine Sciences Program, where I have a molecular evolution research lab and teach Invertebrate Zoology and Genetics. Broadly speaking, I am interested in the evolution of marine invertebrates with an emphasis on decapod crustaceans (crabs, lobsters and shrimp). This subject allows me to address issues related to their biodiversity, genetics, ecology, biogeography, development, and conservation. Much of my work has been conducted in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, western Atlantic and eastern Pacific Ocean where I have had the opportunity to help organize and participate in several major research expeditions. My current role in the DEEPEND consortium will be to lead the crustacean and cephalopod genetic components. This will include documentation and examination of temporal and spatial genetic diversity in the Gulf of Mexico. My interest in decapod crustaceans blossomed early during my undergraduate years at UC Santa Barbara and through my graduate (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and postdoctoral studies (Brigham Young University). When I am not in the lab, field, or office, I love participating in triathlons and almost anything outdoors related….Oh yes, I also thoroughly enjoy dining on my study subjects!