Taxonomy, systematics and ecology of the phylum Tardigrada
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I conducted a series of research programmes on various aspects of Tardigrada biology. The published results of which are hereby presented as part fulfilment of my submission for a PhD by publications at Plymouth University. In this thesis my research publications are grouped into four chapters: Ecology & Faunistics, Alpha Taxonomy, Freshwater Fauna – a taxonomic challenge, and Superfamilies. In the first, I highlight my early papers which dealt with the faunistic surveys as I trained in systematics and taxonomy of the phylum. Amongst the key findings reported were the protozoan symphoriant, Pyxidium tardigradum van der Land, 1966, Marley and Wright (1994); a new addition to the reported fauna of the United Kingdom, Greaves & Marley(1996); and my first work on international samples from Arctic Canada, Sutcliffe et al.(2000). In the second chapter, Alpha Taxonomy, I have included five papers. The first, Marley and Wright (1996), illustrates my work with one of the Royal Museums of Scotland’s collections, where I updated the diagnoses of their specimens and described a new addition to the Icelandic fauna. The second paper, Russell, Marley & Hockings (2001), demonstrates how I was searching for new research methods to apply to tardigrades. It was because of similar exploration, with methods of SEM preparation, that I was invited to join the Australian-Anglo team working on sediment core samples from Antarctic freshwater lakes, Gibson et al. 2009. The remaining two papers in the chapter describe species new to science, Echiniscus ollantaytamboensis Nickel, Miller and Marley, 2001, and my first sole authored paper describing a species new to science, Platicrista ramsayi Marley, 2006. The third chapter, Freshwater Fauna – a taxonomic challenge, deals with a programme of research based initially on my findings at the Royal Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh. This then required subsequent visits the USA and Italy to work on the taxonomic issues with original authors on their more recently described genera. I prepared the original Case for the ICZN, but this was then held by the commission for several years pending their amendments to the Code. I then rewrote the Case into the final paper, Marley, Bertolani & Nelson (2008). The final chapter consists of two papers in which I worked on combining my expertise on the morphological characters of the buccal apparatus and claws, and combining this with new molecular dataset derived from sequencing individual specimens. My colleagues on these papers were Dr S.J. McInnes and Mr C.J. Sands, both from the British Antarctic Survey. Overall I am including 14 published papers and 5 published conference abstracts and three online articles. The following taxa were erected during this work: Pseudobiotus kathmanae, Echiniscus ollantaytamboensis, Platicrista ramsayi, Ramazzottidae, Isohypsibiidae, Macrobiotoidea, Eohypsibioidea, Hypsibioidea, and Isohypsibioidea. Plus the following taxa were re-described, Pseudobiotus, Thulinius, Thulinius augusti, Thulinius ruffoi, and Thulinius stephanae.
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