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Marine Cladocerans Form and Function: Biological Illustration

Did you know there are only 8 species of ocean crustaceans in the order Cladocera (commonly called "water fleas") compared to over 600 freshwater species? Brianna compiled information about this under-studied group of organisms and created illustrations for each of the species from all photos available online.


Brianna Brookes


Li Murphy

Project Period:




Brianna's study compared natural histories and forms of the species she illustrated. She gave a compelling presentation using data about species distribution to make observations about the form as it related to the organisms' ecosystem functions. She ended with a question about whether or not any of these species could be found near NYC and shortly after was a part of an expedition that used plankton nets to survey invertebrates in Coney Island Creek that found a marine cladoceran specimen!

This page was originally developed by BioBus Summer 2021 Jr. Scientist William Rhee.

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