Simon Coppard

Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Simon Coppard recently published an article in the journal Zootaxa. “A new genus of mellitid sand dollar (Echinoidea: Mellitidae) from the eastern Pacific coast of the Americas” focuses on levels of morphological, ecological and genetic divergence between sand dollar lineages from the eastern Pacific coast of the Americas.

The designation of the new genus, which Coppard named Lanthonia, clarifies the historical biogeography of mellitid sand dollars and explains how slightly different morphological and ecological trajectories have resulted in sympatric distributions in the eastern Pacific.

Lanthonia is a genus of clypeasteroid sand dollar whose members inhabit shallow, sandy waters from Mexico (including the Gulf of California) to Colombia in the tropical and subtropical eastern Pacific.

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