Brian Leander


Marine invertebrate zoology & protistology; evolutionary morphology; molecular phylogenetics; species discovery; systematics.

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    Hakai Research Affiliate (2018 - present); Tula Investigator (2006 - 2017), Center for Microbial Diversity & Evolution; Senior Fellow (2013 - 2018), Fellow (2008-2013), Scholar (2003 - 2008), Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Programs in Evolution and Integrated Microbial Biodiversity; NSF Postdoctoral Fellow (2001-2003), UBC; Ph.D. (2001), Comparative Biology, University of Georgia; M.A. & B.Sc. (1996), Zoology, Humboldt State University, California; B.Sc. (1993), Engineering Science, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Our research concentrates on the discovery and characterization of marine organismal diversity and comparative studies of novel morphological systems in predatory eukaryotes (i.e., marine invertebrate zoology & protistology). We are fundamentally interested in the diversity and evolution of organisms, particularly traits associated with feeding, locomotion and symbiotic interactions. By addressing specific hypotheses about character evolution using molecular phylogenetic methods, we study the innovations and transformations associated with broad patterns of morphological change (e.g., convergent evolution over vast phylogenetic distances). This exploratory approach is motivated by the thrill of discovery, the beautiful and the bizarre, and the yearning to build a more comprehensive framework for understanding the interrelationships of life on Earth. The marine lineages we work on tend to be drop-dead gorgeous and reflect spectacular morphological diversity, such as meiofaunal & planktonic animals, euglenozoans, dinoflagellates and apicomplexans.

Killam Teaching Prize

For Teaching

The UBC Killam Teaching Prize recognizes all aspects of outstanding teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Each award has a value of $5000.