Ariel Kushmaro

Ariel Kushmaro

Post-Doc, Harvard University
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

Contact Information

Harvard University
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
The Biological Laboratories, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: (617) 495-1138
FAX: (617) 496-6933


Research Interests

The aim of my research is to further our understanding regarding the composition, dynamics and biochemical activities of microorganisms associated with various marine invertebrates. Associations between chemosynthetic bacteria and marine invertebrates, discovered in 1981, are now found widely in nature. Thus symbioses charge us to think about biodiversity on a different level. Symbiotic associations between to species often result in evolutionary novelty, enabling one partner to acquire the traits of the other. The discovery of widespread symbioses between marine invertebrates and chemosynthetic prokaryotes in the last decade emphasizes the prominence of animal-bacteria association and the need to expand our search for associations involving microorganisms. These symbioses had been overlooked presumably because zoologists are accustomed to studying animals and microbiologists are accustomed to studying bacteria. This suggests that more interdisciplinary approaches are needed to study the diverse array of organismic biology.