New mentee María Sanchez is investigating a possible invasive species in Panama

During my fieldwork along the Pacific coast of Panama, I found a morphotype of Nerita in multiple localities that closely resembles N. albicilla, a species native to the Indo-Pacific.

New STRI-SENACYT fellow María Sanchez is barcoding this and several other species of Nerita from Panama to investigate whether this is indeed an invasive and from which Indo-Pacific population it originated. She is additionally adding the Panamanian diversity of this important intertidal genus to a world-wide phylogenetic framework, and testing whether morphometric data is informative is distinguishing local species.