Upside-Down Jellyfish

While many ecologically important marine species are facing considerable declines in the face of anthropogenic change, some species are highly robust to human disturbed environments and are increasing in abundance worldwide. One example is the upside-down jellyfish in the genus Cassiopia, which is becoming increasingly common in tropical coastal habitats. These jellyfish show immense resilience to high temperatures, light intensity, and salinity but there is little known about the role of phenotypic plasticity plays in their ecological success. We are developing Cassiopeia as a model to study outstanding questions about phenotypic plasticity in the face of global change.