1960 East West Road, BioMed T301B
Honolulu, HI 96822
Biology of Deep-sea Octocorals and Their Associates
I am interested in the taxonomy, biogeography, ecology, and reproduction of deep-sea octocorals. For the most part my samples have come from seamounts in the North Atlantic Ocean but my research is expanding to cover seamounts and island slopes in the Hawaiian and nearby areas. My colleagues and I are particularly interested in the modes of dispersal of these animals, their long-term evolutionary history, and their relationships to deep ocean water masses.
Deep-sea octocorals are also home to a variety of smaller invertebrates. I am interested in how these relationships develop and are maintained. Because these animals live at depths that are accessible only by submersible or remotely operated vehicles, much of what is known has to be gained by inference. We examine closely the bodies of the commensals for clues to their roles in these relationships.
Biology of Crustacea
I have spent most of my career studying marine crustaceans, especially those in the Superorder Peracarida. I am especially interested in the phylogeny of this group, its relationship to other malacostracans, and in finding molecular and morphological evidence that can be used to determine whether this old superorder is a taxonomic artifact or is monophyletic. Additional studies are ongoing on functional morphology of a variety of crustaceans including one deep-sea shrimp that uses a novel mode of pleopod locomotion. And lastly, I have described many new crustacean species and am actively working on the small order Cumacea with a view to producing a modern revision of all the known genera.
I have been involved for about a decade in activities that are specifically related to reduction of human impacts on the marine environment. Most of this work has focused on limiting bottom trawling on continental shelves and banning it altogether in the deep sea. I work with non-governmental organizations (NGO), providing them with information they can use in their campaigns. I believe that scientists can play an important role in marine conservation by providing NGOs with the best and latest scientific information, and by occasionally providing information or testimony directly to government regulators. Since arriving in Hawaii I have not yet become directly involved in conservation issues here but am willing to support a student whose research is of interest to local regulatory agencies.
Watling, L., J. Guinotte, M. Clark, C. Smith. In prep. A proposed biogeography of the deep sea.
Watling, L. in press. Chapter 8, Feeding and Digestive System. In, Watling, L. & M. Thiel (eds.) The Natural History of Crustacea, vol. 1. Oxford University Press.
Thomas, J.D. & L. Watling, in press. A new species of didymocheliid amphipod from the Straits of Florida. Bulletin of the Yale Peabody Museum
Rieser, A., L. Watling & J. Guinotte. Submitted. Trawl Fisheries, Catch Shares and the Protection of Benthic Marine Ecosystems: Has Ownership Generated Incentives for Seafloor Stewardship? Marine Policy
Olesen, J. and L. Watling. Thermosbaenacea, Spelaeogriphacea, and ‘Mictacea’. In: Atlas of Crustacean Larvae.
Garm, A. & L. Watling. in press. Chapter 6, Crustacean setae. In, Watling, L. & M. Thiel (eds.) The Natural History of Crustacea, vol. 1. Oxford University Press.
Pante, E., S. C. France, A. Couloux, C. Cruaud, C. S. McFadden, S. Samadi, and L. Watling. Deep-sea origin and in-situ diversification of chrysogorgiid octocorals. Submitted to PlosOne.
Pante, E. and L. Watling. 2011. Chrysogorgia from the New England and Corner Seamounts: Atlantic – Pacific connections. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom doi:10.1017/S0025315411001354.
Watling, L. and S.C. France. 2011. A new genus and species of bamboo coral (Octocorallia: Isididae: Keratoisidinae) from the New England seamounts. Bulletin of the Yale Peabody Museum 52:209-220.
Watling, L., S.C. France, E. Pante, A. Simpson. 2011. Biology of deep-water octocorals. Advances in Marine Biology 60: 41-122.
Auster, P.J., K.B. Heinonen, L. Watling, C. Parrish-Kuhn, E. Heupel and J. Lindholm. 2011. A Rare Deepwater Anemone and It’s Associates in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (Gulf of Maine, NW Atlantic). Marine Biodiversity Records. doi:10.1017/S1755267211000200; Vol. 4; e19; 2011
Clark, M.R., L. Watling, A. A. Rowden, J. M. Guinotte, C. R. Smith. 2011. A global seamount classification to aid the scientific design of marine protected area networks. Ocean and Coastal Management 54: 19-36.
Auster P.J., Gjerde K., Heupel, E, Watling L., Grehan A., Rogers A.D. 2011. Definition and detection of vulnerable marine ecosystems on the high seas: Problems with the Move-On Rule. ICES J Marine Science 68(2), 254–264.
Simpson, A. & L. Watling, 2011. Precious corals (Octocorallia: Coralliidae) from the Northwestern Atlantic. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 91: 369-382.
Watling, L. 2010. Notes on the habitat of the deep-sea caridean shrimp, Bathypalaemonella serratipalma Pequegnat. Pp.. 707-714, in C.H.M. Fransen et al. (eds.) Studies on Malacostraca. E.J. Brill, Publ.
Auster, P. J. & L. Watling. 2010. Beaked whale foraging areas inferred by gouges in the seafloor. Marine Mammal Science 26: 226-233.
Mosher, C.V. & L. Watling. 2009. Partners for life: a deep-sea brittle star and its octocoral host. Marine Ecology Progress Series 397:81-88.
Watling, L. 2009. Biogeographic Provinces in the Atlantic Deep Sea Determined From Cumacean Distribution Patterns. Deep-Sea Research Part II, 56: 1747-1753.
Watling, L. 2008. Deep-Sea Benthos, status and threats. In: State of the Wild, 2008. Island Press.
Watling, L. 2007. Predation on copepods by an Alaskan cladorhizid sponge. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 87: 1721-1726.
Waller, R., L. Watling, P. Auster, T. Shank. 2007. Anthropogenic impacts on the Corner Rise Seamounts, NW Atlantic Ocean. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 87: 1075-1076.
Watling, L.2007. Amphipods, isopods, ostracods and copepods. In: Gaines, S. et al. Encyclopedia of Tidepools. University of California Press.
Watling, L. 2007. Impacts of Mobile Fishing Gear on Continental Shelf Sedimentary Habitats. In Todd, B.J., and Greene, H.G., eds., Mapping the Seafloor for Habitat Characterization: Geological Association of Canada, Special Paper 47, p. 421-425.
Watling, L. and C. Skinder. 2007. Video analysis of megabenthos assemblages in the central Gulf of Maine, in Todd, B.J., and Greene, H.G., eds., Mapping the Seafloor for Habitat Characterization: Geological Association of Canada, Special Paper 47, p. 369-377.
Watling, L. & J.T. Carleton. 2007. Caprellid Amphipods. Pp. 618-629, In: J.T. Carlton (ed.) Light’s Manual to the Invertebrates of the Central California Coast.
Watling, L. 2007. Cumacea. Pp. 495-503, In: J.T. Carlton (ed.) Light’s Manual to the Invertebrates of the Central California Coast.
Watling, L. 2007. A review of the genus Iridogorgia (Octocorallia: Chrysogorgiidae) and its relatives, chiefly from the North Atlantic Ocean. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 87: 393-402.
Simpson, A. & L. Watling, 2006. An investigation of the cumulative impacts of shrimp trawling on mud bottom fishing grounds in the Gulf of Maine: Effects on habitat and macrofaunal community structure. ICES Journal of Marine Science 63: 1616-1630.
Lehnert, H., Les Watling & R. Stone. 2005. Cladorhiza corona sp. nov. (Porifera: Demospongiae: Cladorhizidae) from the Aleutian Islands (Alaska). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 85: 1359-1366.
Eckelbarger, K.J., L. Watling & H. Fournier. 2005. Reproductive biology of the deep-sea polychaete, Gorgoniapolynoe caeciliae (Polynoidae), a commensal species associated with octocorals. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 85: 1425-1433.
Watling, L. & P.J. Auster. 2005. Distribution of deep-water Alcyonacea off the Northeast coast of the United States. Pp. 259-276. In: Freiwald, A. & J.M. Roberts (eds.) Cold-Water Corals and Ecosystems. Springer-Verlag.
Auster, P.J., J. Moore, K.B. Heinonen & L. Watling. 2005. A habitat classification scheme for seamount landscapes: assessing the functional role of deep-water corals as fish habitat. In: Freiwald, A. & J.M. Roberts (eds.) Cold-Water Corals and Ecosystems. Springer-Verlag.
Watling, L. 2005. Chapter 12: The Global Destruction of Bottom Habitats by Mobile Fishing Gear. In: L. Crowder & E.A. Norse (eds.) Marine Conservation Biology. Island Press.
Watling, L. & S. Gerken. 2005. The Cumacea of the Faroes Islands region: water mass relationships and North Atlantic biogeography. Frodskaparrit Biofar symposium.