Marine invertebrates are an incredibly diverse and important group of animals, but unfortunately they are also among the least understood organisms in the sea. For many of them we know very little –sometimes only their name– and there is a general gap in our knowledge about their interactions with other organisms, the environmental cues that govern their dynamics, their relationships to each other, and even how many species are there and how to recognize them. Our lack of knowledge about marine invertebrates is worrisome, because as a group they have enormous economic, medical, and ecological relevance.
My research aims at answering some of these questions through an integrative approach combining morphological, molecular, and ecological data. The main focus of my work is on Cnidaria, an understudied group of invertebrates that includes jellyfish, hydroids, siphonophores, corals, and sea anemones. I am particularly interested in discovering how we can tell the different species apart, and what are the drivers behind the different forms, habitats, and life strategies of these animals. I am also interested in the role of cnidarians –and of other gelatinous zooplankton– as prey and vectors of disease, and I use molecular and morphological tools to discover the identity of their predators, parasites and symbionts. Finally, I want to make sure that marine invertebrates are included in environmental monitoring programmes, and to do that I have been working on building reliable DNA reference libraries for many species living in the North Atlantic Ocean.
- (2023). Odd family reunion: DNA barcoding reveals unexpected relationship between three hydrozoan species. PeerJ.
- (2022). Setting the baseline for the dynamics of siphonophores and hydromedusae in Oslofjorden. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 71-89.
- (2021). Toward a global reference database of COI barcodes for marine zooplankton. . Marine Biology. 26 pages.
- (2020). Βenthic hydrozoan assemblages as potential indicators of environmental health in a Μediterranean Μarine protected area. Mediterranean Marine Science. 36-46.
- (2020). Benthic hydrozoan assemblages as potential indicators of environmental health in a mediterranean marine protected area. Mediterranean Marine Science. 36-46.
- (2019). Diversidad de Medusozoa en México: Estado del conocimiento y fuentes de información disponibles. Recursos Naturales y Sociedad. 24-39.
- (2018). The illusion of rarity in an epibenthic jellyfish: facts and artefacts in the distribution of Tesserogastria musculosa (Hydrozoa, Ptychogastriidae). Helgoland Marine Research. 1-13.
- (2018). Successional dynamics of marine fouling hydroids (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) at a finfish aquaculture facility in the Mediterranean Sea. PLOS ONE.
- (2018). Benthic hydrozoans as potential indicators of water masses and anthropogenic impact in the Sea of Marmara. Mediterranean Marine Science. 273-283.
- (2018). An integrative identification guide to the Hydrozoa (Cnidaria) of Bocas del Toro, Panama. Neotropical Biodiversity. 102-112.
- (2017). Polyps fishing on a crab: novel association between Hydrichthella epigorgia (Hydrozoa, Ptilocodiidae) and Achaeus (Crustacea, Inachidae). Marine Biodiversity. 1-13.
- (2020). Feltarbeid i Saltstraumen marine verneområde. Utfordringer og metodikk for observasjon og skånsom innsamling av marin fauna i en av verdens sterkeste tidevannsstrømmer. 13. 13. .
- (2017). Challenges and opportunities in Norwegian hydrozoan taxonomy: lessons from project HYPNO.
- (2019). NorHydro: mapping the diversity of marine hydroids in Norway.
- (2019). Integrative assessment of diversity and distribution of polyps and their medusae in Norway.
- (2019). DNA barcoding of benthic hydrozoans in Norwegian waters.
- (2019). Communication of hydrozoan science in the time of social media: achievements and opportunities for the Hydrozoan Society.
- (2018). HYPNO: Exploring the diversity of Norwegian siphonophores and hydromedusae.
- (2018). Biodiversity of Medusozoa in Mexico.
- (2017). HYPNO - Hydrozoan Pelagic Diversity in Norway.
- (2018). Innsamling av marine virvelløse dyr. Årbok for Universitetsmuseet i Bergen. 101-111.
- (2018). En uimodstaaelig Lyst til Naturens Studium. Årbok for Universitetsmuseet i Bergen. 17-26.
- (2023). Are we there yet to eliminate the terms larva, metamorphosis, and dissogeny from the ctenophore literature? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
- (2019). Godt samarbeid om marine artar – over og under vatn.
- (2019). Forskere kan ha funnet ukjente arter.
Martell L, R Bracale, SA Carrion, JE Purcell, M Lezzi, C Gravili, S Piraino, F Boero (2018) Successional dynamics of marine fouling hydroids (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) at a finfish aquaculture facility in the Mediterranean Sea. PLoS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0195352.
Soto-Àngel JJ, L Martell, F Palero (2017) Polyps fishing on a crab: novel association between Hydrichthella epigorgia (Hydrozoa, Ptilocodiidae) and Achaeus (Crustacea, Inachidae). Marine Biodiversity DOI: 10.1007/s12526-017-0746-8.
Topçu NE, L Martell, M İşinibilir (2017) A multispecific accumulation of gelatinous organisms in the central Aegean Sea as a case of biological evidence for unnoticed offshore events. Cahiers de Biologie Marine 58(3):269–277.
Martell L, E Ciavolino, C Gravili, S Piraino, F Boero (2017) Population dynamics of the non-indigenous hydrozoan Clytia hummelincki (Hydrozoa: Campanulariidae) in two contrasting Mediterranean habitats. Marine Biology Research 13(5): 551–559.
Martell L, S Piraino, C Gravili, F Boero (2016) The life cycle of Turritopsis dohrnii (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa): development of the medusa of the immortal jellyfish. Italian Journal of Zoology 83(3):390–399.
Gravili C, D De Vito, CG Di Camillo, L Martell, S Piraino, F Boero (2015) The non-Siphonophoran Hydrozoa (Cnidaria) of Salento, Italy with notes on their life-cycles: an illustrated guide. Zootaxa 3908 (1): 001–187.
İşinibilir M, L Martell, NE Topçu, İN Yılmaz, S Piraino (2015) First inventory of the shallow-water benthic hydrozoan assemblages of the island of Gökçeada (northern Aegean Sea). Italian Journal of Zoology 82(2): 281–290.
Martell L, M Sánchez-Ramírez, A Ocaña-Luna (2014) Distribution of planktonic cnidarian assemblages in the southern Gulf of Mexico, during autumn. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 87(1): 18–28.
Piraino S, G Aglieri, L Martell, C Mazzoldi, V Melli, G Milisenda, S Scorrano, F Boero (2014) Pelagia benovici sp. nov. (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa): a new jellyfish in the Mediterranean Sea. Zootaxa 3794(3): 455–468.
Martell L, A Ocaña-Luna, M Sánchez-Ramírez (2011) Seasonal occurrence of Opechona pyriforme metacercariae (Digenea: Lepocreadiidae) in Eirene tenuis medusae (Hydrozoa: Leptothecata) from a hypersaline lagoon in western Gulf of Mexico. Journal of Parasitology 97: 68–71.
Ongoing and previous Norwegian taxonomy initiative projects: