Faculty & Staff

Michael Rex, PhD

Professor of Biology - Deep-Sea Ecology; Biogeography.
Associate Editor, Global Ecology and Biogeography. Marine Biodiversity.


photo of Michael Rex

Areas of Expertise

Deep-Sea Ecology, Biogeography


PhD, Harvard University, 1972
AB, Indiana University, 1968

Professional Publications & Contributions

Additional Information

Research Interests

Michael Rex's research is centered on the ecology and evolution of deep-sea benthic communities. It includes analyses of bathymetric and global-scale patterns of biodiversity and their causes. His research team is using satellite imagery to examine the relationship of surface production to community structure in the deep sea at different temporal and spatial scales. Geographic variation in body size of mollusks is being explored to study adaptation to the deep-sea environment. Multivariate analyses of shell architecture and mitochondrial DNA are being employed to study patterns of population differentiation in deep-sea mollusks. Adaptive radiation and taxon cycles are being investigated by documenting patterns of taxonomic diversity. A major long-term research goal is to synthesize patterns of distribution, geographic variation, taxonomic composition and life histories to formulate a model of evolution in deep-sea invertebrates.

Current Grant Support

  • Reproductive and Geographic Evidence for Source-Sink Dynamics in Deep-Sea Communities. The National Science Foundation. Biological Oceanography. (OCE-1129612) funded 9/1/11- 9/1/14, $145, 637, M.A. Rex (PI), S. Brault (Co-PI), C.T. Stuart (Co-PI).