top of page

About Us

Learn some facts about our lab!

The CRUSTOMICS lab is fundamentally interested in the evolution of marine invertebrates with an emphasis on decapod crustaceans.  We use morphological and molecular techniques to address questions related to their relationships, origins, biogeography, biodiversity, ecology, taxonomy, and conservation.  My main research objectives include 1) decapod phylogenetics and genomics, 2) the evolution of systems and structures (ex. bioluminescence, vision, color), and 3) the identification of key morphological traits that promote diversification and speciation within this group. 

We are located at ...


Florida International University - Biscayne Bay Campus 

3000 NE 151 Street, MSB-330 (Lab), MSB-361 (office)

North Miami, Florida 33181, USA

Phone : 305 919-4030

Fax : 305 919-4190

Screenshot 2023-11-28 at 12.37.28 PM.png

Deep-sea Sergestids

Read all about it!

Dr. Heather Bracken-Grissom & Dr. Danielle DeLeo published an article that investigate photosensitivity in deep-sea sergestid shrimp


Stomie's Proposal Defense

Oct. 2023

Congratulations to Stormie Collins for successfully defending her research proposal 

Congratulations to

Dr. Heather Bracken Grissom & Dr. Kevin Boswell for giving their promotional seminar for FULL PROFESSOR!!

We are so proud!

Let's Talk Full Professor

Sept. 2023


Physetocaris microphthalma

Sept. 2023

Extra! Extra!

A new paper was released by Dr. Heather Bracken Grissom & Dr. Pedro Peres who have been investigating this super rare deep-sea shrimp!

Read all about it!


Reach for the Stars!

Angel Rodriguez

He may not be new to our lab but Angel has taken a step down from lab manager and is further pursuing his education by continuing with us as a New PhD student!


Welcome New Lab Manager


Aug. 2023

After interning at our lab for almost a year and graduating with her B.S in Marine Biology, Angie was given the opportunity to join us as our  new lab manager!


Welcome aboard



Mary will be joining us as a PhD Student along with Angel and Natalie!


Safe travels!

Deepend Cruise

A big congratulations to Robert Tomasetti as he successfully defended his dissertation and has graduated with his PhD!!



Dr. Tomasetti

A big congratulations to Robert Tomasetti as he successfully defended his dissertation and has graduated with his PhD!!


Wishing you the best

Dr. Ballou!

lauren is off to share her knowlegde at  Berea College as a professor


New Candidate


Stormie confidentally 

and is now a PhD Candidate! 

Saved items - HBGlab - Slack 2_23_2023 1_35_33 PM_edited.jpg

King of the Bay

Spring 2023

The CRUSTOMICS Lab participated in the first annual King of the Bay competition! 

Acanthephyra heatherii_edited_edited.jpg

Acanthephyra heatherii

Fall 2022

Dr. Alexander Vereshchaka name a new Acanthephyra shrimp species, Acanthephyra heatherii, after our very own Dr. Heather Bracken-Grissom. That marks the second species to be named after her!


Great Job Dr. Pedro!

Spring 2022

Congrats to Dr. Pedro Peres for receiving Best Oral Presentation in the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology's Division of Phylogenetics and Comparative Biology (SICB DPCB) Wake Award Session!

Hydrothermal vent images_edited.jpg

NSF Award!

Deep-sea Vent Shrimps

Fall 2022

Dr. Heather Bracken-Grissom has been awarded a $1.35 million from the National Science Foundation to study alvinocaridid deep sea vent shrimp. More news on this project to come in 2023!



Dr. Varela!

Fall 2021

Carlos Valera has successfully defended his dissertation "DNA BARCODING ENHANCES LARGE-SCALE BIODIVERSITY INITIATIVES FOR DEEP-PELAGIC CRUSTACEANS WITHIN THE GULF OF MEXICO AND ADJACENT WATERS" and successfully obtained his doctorate. Congrats Dr. Valera!



Dr. Charles!

Fall 2021

Charles Golightly has successfully defended his thesis "The Evolution of Bioluminescence in the Shrimp Family Sergestidae: aGenome Skimming and Phylogenetic Approach" and received his Masters. Congrats Charles!


Welcome NEW Lab Manager


Fall 2021

Harrison Mancke became the lab manager and received the NSF REPS fund! 


Welcome NEW PhD Students

Natalie & Stormie!

Fall 2021

Stormie Collins and Natalie Whitaker joined Fall 2021 as doctoral students. Stormie plans on working with bioluminescence in shrimp and Natalie plans on working with spider crab seascape genomics!




Spring 2021

Cancellus heatherae is a newly described species of hermit crab named after Dr. BG to honor her contributions to decapod phylogenetics. It was found over 300 feet down!

Check it out here!


NOAA Journey into

Midnight Expedition!

Spring 2021

Dr. Heather was part of the 2019 NOAA Journey into Midnight Expedition that found the first ever giant squid in US waters.


Check it out here!



Dr. Ditter!

Fall 2020

A big congratulations to Robb as he successfully defended his dissertation and accepted a postdoctoral research position at University of California, Davis!

Good luck Dr. Ditter!


You're a Star

Dr. Schweikert!

Summer 2020

A BIG congratulations to Lori for accepting an Assistant Professorship position in the Department of Biology and Marine Biology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington!


Way to Go 


Spring 2021

Stormie was awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to join the doctoral program in Fall 2021! 

One of eleven students to be awarded at FIU.

Read more here!

HBG 1 copy.JPG


Fall 2020

Dr. Bracken-Grissom appointed as the Assistant Director of Coastlines and Oceans Division at FIU.


Check her out!


SQUID-iculously cool!

Spring 2020

Dr. Heather Bracken Grissom was part of a research team to discover interactions between a pelagic shark and giant cephalopod!


Read more here!


Keep up the good work!

Spring 2020

Robert was awarded NSF GRFP!



Dr. Jorge Perez Moreno

Spring 2020

Congratulations s to Dr. Jorge Perez Moreno for successfully defending his dissertation on the evolution and vision of cave crustaceans!

bottom of page