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Diversity and evolution of non-bilaterian animals

Research Oliver Voigt

I am interested in the diversity and phylogeny of non-bilaterian animals, especially calcareous sponges. For many of these invertebrates, the systematic classifications based on morphology do not reflect the phylogeny. In these cases, DNA-based approaches can be a useful tool to re-evaluate hypotheses about relationships and the evolution of morphological characters. Revisions of the classifications and the recognition of morphological synapomorphies is the final goal by integration of morphological and DNA data. Further research focuses on understanding the biodiversity of sponges by means of DNA barcoding approaches, especially in the Indo-Pacific and the Red Sea.


Key publications

Voigt O, Ruthensteiner B, Leiva L, Fradusco B, Wörheide G (2018): A new species of the calcareous sponge genus Leuclathrina (Calcarea: Calcinea: Clathrinida) from the Maldives. Zootaxa 4382 (1), 147–158. Full text

Voigt O, Erpenbeck D, González-Pech RA, Al-Aidaroos AM, Berumen ML, Wörheide G (2017): Calcinea of the Red Sea: providing a DNA barcode inventory with description of four new species. Marine Biodiversity, in press. doi:10.1007/s12526-017-0671-x. Full text

Voigt O, Wörheide G (2016): A short LSU rRNA fragment as a standard marker for integrative taxonomy in calcareous sponges (Porifera: Calcarea). Organisms Diversity & Evolution, 16: 53-64. Abstract

Erpenbeck D, Voigt, O, Al-Aidaroos AM, Berumen ML, Büttner G, Catania D., Guirguis AN, Paulay G, Schätzle S & Wörheide G (2016): Molecular biodiversity of Red Sea demosponges. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 105: 507–514. Abstract

Voigt O, Wülfing E, Wörheide, G (2012): Molecular phylogenetic evaluation of classification and scenarios of character evolution in calcareous sponges (Porifera, Class Calcarea). PLoS ONE, 7 (3): e33417. Full text

Voigt O, Eichmann, V, Wörheide, G (2012): First evaluation of mitochondrial DNA as a marker for phylogeographic studies of Calcarea: a case study from Leucetta chagosensis. Hydrobiologia, 687 (1): 101-106. Abstract

Pearse VB, Voigt O (2007): Field biology of placozoans (Trichoplax): distribution, diversity, biotic interactions. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 47:677-692. Abstract

Voigt O, Collins AG, Pearse VB, Pearse JS, Ender A, Hadrys H, Schierwater B (2004): Placozoa — no longer a phylum of one. Current Biology, 14:R944–945. Full text