Invertebrate Zoology/Marine Biology
Brett’s research investigates mechanisms that generate and maintain biodiversity in the marine realm. He is particularly interested in evolutionary processes driving diversity and adaptation, shaping life history strategies and impacting biogeographic distributions across rare and unique taxa inhabiting environments poorly understood and often overlooked, such as the subterranean, pelagic zone, deep-sea and interstitium.
His multidisciplinary research integrates theories and tools from fields of evolutionary and functional biology, comparative morphology, ecology, genomics and biological oceanography, addressing questions focused on marine diversity across the depths. Overlooked habitats, like the deep-sea and subterranean realm, are a treasure trove of undiscovered biodiversity – biodiversity that is key to understanding ecological and evolutionary processes that helped shape the diversity around us today. By using interdisciplinary and hypothesis-based approaches, his passion is directed towards enhancing our knowledge across the largest and least explored environments, with a particular focus on Annelida and other invertebrate groups.
Brett is currently a postdoc in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He received his doctorate from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and did his earlier studies at Texas A&M University and at Texas A&M University at Galveston. Throughout his scientific tenure he has acquired an extensive background in technical diving and cave exploration, and is proficient in numerous collection techniques in extreme environments.