Jan Pechenik

Jan Pechenik

(617) 627-3199
200 Boston Ave
Research/Areas of Interest:

Marine Biology and Invertebrate Development


  • PhD, Biological Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, United States, 1978
  • MS, Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, United States, 1975
  • BA, Zoology, Duke University, Durham, United States, 1971


Marine invertebrates show a remarkable range of reproductive and developmental patterns. I am especially interested in understanding the costs and benefits associated with these different patterns. Our research is driven by the questions we ask, rather than by the features of any particular group of animals. One of my lifetime goals is to publish one paper on every major animal group. I still need to do studies on sponges, cnidarians, and nematodes: I'm open to collaboration! Over the years, I have worked with gastropods, bivalves, chitons, polychaetes, crustaceans, parasitic flatworms, colonial ascidians, and bryozoans. The research presently going on in my lab considers the following major issues: To what extent do sublethal stresses (e.g., food limitation, exposure to pollutants, delayed metamorphosis, ocean acidification) experienced by larvae affect the fitness of individuals after they metamorphose? What role does nitric oxide play in controlling metamorphosis of the marine gastropod Crepidula fornicata. How are slipper limpets (Crepidula fornicata) adapted for life in the intertidal zone? What are the physiological differences between intertidal and subtidal individuals of this species. How is metamorphosis controlled in the marine pollution-indicating polychaete Capitella teleta? Why is Crepidula plana less successful than C. fornicata as an invader?