Evolution * Phylogenetics * Biodiversity * Conservation

About The Lab

  • b-tbird
My 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. 

Our Work In Action


Heather Bracken-Grissom, PhD
Associate Professor
Dept. of Biological Sciences
Florida International University-Biscayne Bay Campus
3000 NE 151 Street, MSB-353
North Miami, Florida 33181, USA
305 919-4190 (Phone)  305 919-4030 (Fax)
heather.brackengrissom@fiu.edu  www.fiu.edu/~marine


Follow @BrackenGrissom on Twitter for the latest lab updates!

Latest CRUSTOMICS Lab News:
The CRUSTOMICS lab and Harvard University awarded new NSF grant (DEB) to study Crab Tree of Life and how crabs became "crabby"!
Summer 2019
The CRUSTOMICS Lab celebrates cataloguing its 10,000th crustacean specimen!  With records dating back nearly 75 years, this milestone accomplishment is one to remember!
Spring 2019
The CRUSTOMICS Lab welcomes its newest graduate student, Robert Tomasetti!  His research is seeking to investigate coral reef connectivity by evaluating global marine algal biodiversity.  
Spring 2019
The Bracken-Grissom Spring 2019 Potluck goes in the books as a crabtastic success!  Delicious food, beautiful weather, and clawfully good company!  It doesn't get any better than that.  
Work it, Robb!  You're really krillin it....
Spring 2019
Long-time lab member, Charles Golightly, checks off his first goal of Spring 2019 with his acceptance into FIU's PhD program.  He will continue his development as a researcher in the Bracken-Grissom Lab!
Spring 2019
Lori Schweikert joins the CRUSTOMICS lab on a College of Arts and Science Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship to study deep sea bioluminescence and vision
Fall 2018
Zach Nickell, joins the HBG lab as a PhD graduate student!
Spring 2018
The first PhD student, Laura Timm, graduates from the HBG lab and has accepted a post-doc in David Pollock's lab at UC Denver! 
Spring 2018
Postdoc, Danielle DeLeo, and PI HBG receive NSF grant to host the 3rd annual Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance in Curacao!  DeLeo also successful in helping obtain a shiptime grant to help co-teach Oceanography at Sea at FIU! 
PhD students, Carlos, Laura, Robb and Jorge all have papers accepted or submitted to journals studying crustacean taxonomy, population genetics or phylogeography.   Dynamo year! 
Spring 2017
Congrats to Jorge Perez Moreno for receiving NSF DDIG grant to study cave crustaceans!
October 2016
Laura Timm and Carlos Varela (PhD students), and Team Barcode (Charles Golightly, Lauren Ramos, Blake Wilkins, Alyssa Morgan) have oral and poster presentations accepted at GoMOSES this Feb 2017 in NOLA!
July 2016
Check out our bioluminescence BLOG blog under the "more options" from this summers research cruise into the FL Straits as part of NSF funded research to study bioluminescence and vision
                  Summer 2016
Congrats to Jorge Perez Moreno for his new paper entitled: Life in the Underworld: Anchialine Cave Biology in th era of speleogenomics!  Check out our publications page to download
Congrats to undergrad Joan Glenny for being awarded the MARC U* Fellowship at FIU!
February 2016
Congratulations to PhD candidate Laura Timm for being selected as a 2016 GOMRI Scholar AND winning 3rd place with her poster "Diversity and connectivity of a mesopelagic shrimp as proxies for ecosystem health and recovery in the Gulf of Mexico" at this year's FIU's Biosymposium!
January 2016
Who needs winter holidays when you can go scout future research sites?
PhD candidate Jorge Pérez-Moreno and PhD student Robert Ditter have returned from jungle hiking and cave diving in the Yucatan, along with CRUSTOMICS friend Gergely Balázs (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary).
August 2015
PI HBG received an NSF grant to study the evolution of deep sea bioluminescence and vision with Megan Porter (University of Hawaii) and Tammy Frank (NOVA). Looking forward to some exciting research!
Image credit  Sönke Johnsen.
PhD Student Robb Ditter's research on enigmatic cave shrimp featured in Caribbean Correspondence.  Check it out!
PhD student, Jorge Perez Moreno has returned from a productive field season visiting caves in Europe (Hungary, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina).
Special thanks to honorary CRUSTOMICS lab member Gergely Balázs (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary) for being an amazing host!
July 2015
PI BG and PhD student, Jorge Perez Moreno are setting sail on July 14th to search for new sources of deep sea bioluminescence in the Gulf of Mexico
Image credit  Bioluminescence 2009 Expedition, NOAA/OER.
Learn more about our DEEPEND consortium here: