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Sea Hares from Norway and beyond

Dr Carlo Cunha from Brazil visits the Natural History Museum to study the Anaspidea collection

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Sea Hares from Northern Europe and byond
Photo:
Manuel Malaquias

Dr Carlo M. Cunha from the Metropolitan University of Santos in Brazil (Universidade Metropolitana de Santos), a recognized world expert in the diversity and systematics of Anaspidea heterobranch gastropods, is visiting the Natural History Museum of Bergen during January/February 2017 to study our scientific collection of these molluscs. The visit is funded by the the University of Bergen´s Strategic Programme for International Research and Education (SPIRE). The Museum holds a large amount of material from the Scandinavian region, but also from the Mediterranean, Macaronesia islands, Caribbean, and western Indian Ocean. These marine molluscs commonly known by sea hares comprise around 90 currently known species and have long been of major interest to biologists because of their large and easily accessible nervous system, which form the basis of numerous neurophysiological works. However, the taxonomy of these molluscs and their evolution are still poorly understood. Dr Cunha is using a combination of molecular and morphological tools to learn more about the worldwide diversity of anaspideans and their phylogenetic relationships.