Research and Curation Projects

A deep-sea coral observed on a research expedition to Costa Rica

SIO-BIC contributes to research on invertebrate diversity, including new species descriptions, global phylogenies, population genetics, and biogeography. BIC specimens are used extensively by the lab of the SIO-BIC Curator, Prof. Greg Rouse.


Current focus areas include:


  • Methane seeps: describing the biodiversity of these chemosynthesis-based ecosystems along the eastern Pacific, from Oregon to Costa Rica
  • Whale falls: characterizing the associated animal communities over time
  • San Diego area: building a reference collection and teaching resources for local biodiversity, especially deep-sea fauna


  • MBARI and University of Victoria collection transfer: integrating two eminent deep-sea collections into SIO-BIC
  • Digitization: SIO-BIC aims to make all specimens publicly discoverable online, including decades worth of valuable material that remains to be formally catalogued and/or digitized
  • Image library: linking database entries to digital photos of live specimens