Kevin Eckelbarger, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone: 207.581.5230

CV: Link to Eckelbarger CV


Darling Marine Center
193 Clark’s Cove Road
Walpole, ME  04573


Ph.D. Northeastern


I am a marine invertebrate zoologist specializing in the comparative functional morphology and reproductive and larval biology of shallow water, bathyl and deep-sea invertebrates. Much of my research involves the comparative ultrastructural features of gametogenesis, especially oogenesis, in order to better understand how the diverse processes of egg formation have influenced life history variation. Much of this research has concentrated on the reproductive biology of deep-sea invertebrates inhabiting Pacific hydrothermal vents, the Bahamas Islands, the Gulf of Maine, the methane seeps in the Gulf of Mexico and deep-sea trenches in the western Pacific Ocean. The work has involved extended ocean cruises using research vessels, manned submersibles, remotely-operated vehicles (ROV’s) and scanning and transmission electron microscopes in collaboration with colleagues at a number of institutions, especially the Univ. of Southampton (Britain), Rhodes University (South Africa), the University of Oregon, and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Inst. (Florida).  


  • Eckelbarger KJ. In Review. Life history implications of unusual lipid storage in the spermatozoon of the rarely collected oceanic and meso- bathypelagic jellyfish Poralia rufescens (Scyphozoa, Semaeostomeae, Ulmaridae). Invertebrate Reproduction & development.
  • Hodgson, AN & KJ Eckelbarger. In Review. Spermatogenisis and Spermiogenisis in the Mollusca. Encyclopedia of Reproduction, 2nd edition.
  • Eckelbarger KJ & AN Hodgson (2021): Invertebrate oogenesis – a review and synthesis: comparative ovarian morphology, accessory cell function and the origins of yolk precursors, Invertebrate Reproduction & Development, 65(2): 71-140.
  • Eckelbarger KJ & AN Hodgson. 2014. Ultrastructure of spermiogenesis and synthesis of enigmatic cytoplasmic inclusions in the spirally shaped spermatozoon of the polychaete Spio setosa (Annelida: Spionidae). Invertebrate Biology 133(2): 1-12.
  • Eckelbarger KJ & NW Riser. 2013. Derived sperm morphology in the interstitial sea cucumber Rhabdomolgus ruber with observations on oogenesis and spawning behavior. Invertebrate Biology. 132: 270-281.
  • Hodgson AN, CM Young & KJ Eckelbarger. 2013.Spermatozoon structure of Acesta oophaga (Limidae), a cold-seep bivalve. Invertebrate Reproduction and Development 57: 70-73.
  • Hodgson AN, V Hodgson & KJ Eckelbarger. 2012. Structure and formation of the unusual sperm of Patelloida latistrigata (Mollusca : Patellogastropoda): implications for fertilization biology. Biological Bulletin 222: 118-127.
  • Hodgson AH, KJ Eckelbarger & CM Young. 2009. Sperm ultrastructure and spermatogenesis in the hydrothermal vent gastropod Rhychopelta concentrica. Journal Molluscan Studies 75: 159-165.
  • Blake JA, JP Grassle & KJ Eckelbarger. 2009. Capitella teleta, a new species designation for the opportunistic and experimental Capitella sp.I with a review of the literature and confirmed records. Zoosymposia 2: 25- 54.
  • Mosher CV, L Watling & KJ Eckelbarger. 2009. Deep-sea Ophiuroidea associated with seamount communities of the Western North Atlantic. Proceedings of the 12th International Echinoderm Conference, pp. 235- 239.
  • Eckelbarger KJ, C Hand & K Uhlinger. 2008. Ultrastructural features of trophonema formation and oogenesis in the starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis (Edwardsiidae). Invertebrate Biology 127(4): 381- 395.
  • Tyler PA, S Pendlebury, SW Mills, L Mullineaux, KJ Eckelbarger, M Baker & CM Young. 2008. Reproduction of gastropods from vents on the East Pacific Rise and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Journal of Shellfish Research, 27:107-118.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 2006. Oogenesis. IN: Reproductive Biology and Phylogeny of Annelida, G Rouse & F. Pleijel (eds.), Vol. 4 of Series: ReproductiveBiologyand Phylogeny,pp.23-44,SciencePublishers, Enfield, New Hampshire.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. & PI. Blades-Eckelbarger. 2005. Comparative oogenesis in calanoid copepods. International Journal of Invertebrate Reproduction & Development, 47:167-182.
    Eckelbarger KJ, L Watling & H Fournier. 2005. The reproductive biology of the deep-sea polychaete Gorgoniapolynoe caeciliae (Polynoidea), a commensal species associated with octocorals. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 85: 1425-1433.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 2005. Polychaete oogenesis and oocytes. Hydrobiologia 235: 79-98.
  • Eckelbarger KJ & CM Young. 2002. Spermiogenesis and modified sperm morphology in the “Seepworm” Methanoaricia dendrobranchiata (Polychaeta: Orbiniidae) from a methane seep environment in the Gulf of Mexico: implications for fertilization biology. The Biological Bulletin 203: 134-143.
  • Pernet B, Qian P-Y, Rouse G, Young CM & Eckelbarger KJ. 2002. Phylum Annelida: Polychaeta. IN: Atlas of Marine Invertebrate Larvae, CM Young (ed.), Academic Press, new York, pp. 209-244.
  • Eckelbarger KJ, CM Young, E Ramirez Llodra, S Brooke & PA Tyler. 2001. Gametogenesis, spawning behavior and early development in the “iceworm” Hesiocaeca methanicola (Polychaeta: Hesionidae) from methane hydrates in the Gulf of Mexico. Marine Biology 138: 761-775.
  • Hodgson AN & KJ Eckelbarger. 2000. Ultrastructure of the ovary and oogenesis in six species of patellid limpets (Gastropoda: Patellogastropoda) from South Africa. Invertebrate Biology 119: 265-277.
  • Eckelbarger KJ, & CM Young. 1999. Ultrastructure of gametogenesis in a chemosynthetic mytilid bivalve (Bathymodiolus childressi) from a bathyal, methane seep environment (northern Gulf of Mexico). Marine Biology 135: 636-646.
  • Eckelbarger KJ, PA Tyler & RL Langton. 1998. Gonadal morphology and gametogenesis in the sea pen Pennauta aculeata (Anthozoa: Pennatulacea) from the Gulf of Maine. Marine Biology 132: 677-690.
  • Eckelbarger KJ & CM Young. 1997. Ultrastructure of the ovary and oogenesis in the methane-seep mollusc, Bathynerita naticoidea (Gastropoda: Neritidae) from the Louisiana slope. Invertebrate Biology, 116: 299-312.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. & CV Davis. 1996. Ultrastructure of the gonad and gametogenesis in the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica. I. Ovary and oogenesis. Marine Biology 127: 79-87.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. & CV Davis. 1996. Ultrastructure of the gonad and gametogenesis in the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica. II. Testis and spermatogenesis. Marine Biology 127: 65-78.
  • Eckelbarger KJ & L Watling. 1995. Role of phylogenetic constraints in determining reproductive patterns in deep-sea invertebrates. Invertebrate Biology, 114: 256-269.
  • Young, CM & KJ Eckelbarger (eds.). 1994. Reproduction, Larval Biology & Recruitment of the Deep-Sea Benthos. Columbia University Press, 427 pp.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1994. Diversity of metazoan ovaries and vitellogenic mechanisms: implications for life history theory. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 107: 193-218.
  • Tyler PA, KJ Eckelbarger & DSM. Billet. 1994. Reproduction in the holothurian Bathyplotes natans (Holothuroidea: Synallactidae) from bathyal depths in the northeast and western Atlantic. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 73: 383-402.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1994. Oocyte nutrition in the lower metazoa. IN: Invertebrate Reproduction & development, WH. Wilson, SA. Stricker, & G Shinn (eds.), The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 325 pp.
  • Eckelbarger KJ & RL Larson. 1993. Ultrastructural study of the ovary of the sessile scyphozoan Haliclystus octoradiaus (Cnidaria: Stauromedusae). Journal of Morphology 218: 225-236.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1992. Polychaeta oogenesis. IN: R. Harrison & S. Gardiner (eds.) Microscopic Anatomy of Invertebrates, Vol. 7, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 109-127.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. & CM Young. 1992. Ovarian ultrastructure and vitellogenesis in ten species of shallow-water and bathyal sea cucumbers (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 72: 759-781.
  • Eckelbarger KJ & RL Larson. 1992. Ultrastructure of the ovary and oogenesis in the jellyfish Linuche unguiculata and Stomolophus meleagris, with a review of ovarian structure in the Scyphozoa. Marine Biology 114: 633-643.
  • Eckelbarger KJ, R Bieler & PM Mikkelsen. 1990. Ultrastructure of sperm development and mature sperm morphology in three species of commensal bivalves (Mollusca: Galeommatoidea). Journal of Morphology 205: 63-75.
  • Rice SA & KJ Eckelbarger. 1989. An ultrastructural investigation of spermatogenesis in the holopelgic polychaetes Vanadis formosa and Krohnia lepidota (Polychaeta: Alciopidae). The Biological Bulletin 176: 123-134.
  • Eckelbarger KJ, CM Young & JL Cameron. 1989. Modified sperm ultrastructure in four species of soft-bodied echinoids (Echinodermata: Echinothuriidae) from the bathyal zone of the deep sea. The Biological Bulletin 177: 230-236.
  • Eckelbarger KJ & RJ Larson. 1989. Ultrastructural studies of the ovary of the sessile scyphozoan Haliclystus octoradiatus (Cnidaria: Stauromedusae). Journal of Morphology 218: 225-236.
  • Eckelbarger KJ, CM Young & JL Cameron. 1989. Modified sperm in echinoderms from the bathyal and abyssal zones of the deep sea. IN: Reproduction, Genetics, and Distribution of Marine Organisms, JS Ryland & PA Tyler (eds.), Olsen & Olsen, Denmark, pp. 67-74.
  • Eckelbarger KJ & PI Blades-Eckelbarger. 1989. Ovotestis structure and evidence for heterosynthetic incorporation of yolk precursors in the oocytes of a nudibranch mollusk. Journal of Morphology 201: 105-118.
  • Eckelbarger KJ, CM Young, & L Cameron, 1989. Ultrastructure and development of dimorphic, aberrant sperm in the abyssal echinoid Phrssocystis multispina: implications for deep-sea reproductive biology.
  • The Biological Bulletin 176: 257- 271.
  • Young CM, L Cameron, & KJ Eckelbarger. 1989. Extended pre-feeding period in planktotrophic larvae of the bathyal echinoid Aspidodiadema jacobyi. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 69: 695-702.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1988. Ovarian morphology and oogenesis in Aurelia aurita (Scyphozoa: Semaeostomae): ultrastructural evidence of heterosynthetic yolk formation in a primitive metazoan. Marine Biology 100: 103-115.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. & SA Rice. 1988. Ultrastructure of oogenesis in the holopelagic polychaetes Rhynchonerella angelini and Alciopa reynaudii (Polychaeta: Alciopidae). Marine Biology 98: 427-439.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1988. Oogenesis and female gametes. IN: The Ultrastructure of the Polychaeta. W. Westheide and C. Hermans (eds.) Gustav Fischer Verlag, New York, pp. 281-307.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. & JP Grassle. 1987. Spermatogenesis, sperm storage and comparative sperm morphology in nine species of Capitella, Capitomastus and Capitellides (Polychaeta: Capitellidae). Marine Biology 95:415-429.
  • Eckelbarger KJ & JP Grassle. 1987. Interspecific variation in genital spine, sperm, and larval morphology in six sibling species of Capitella. Bulletin of the Biological Society of Washington 7: 62-76.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1986. Vitellogenic mechanisms and the allocation of energy to offspring in polychaetes. Bulletin of Marine Science 39:426-443.
  • Eckelbarger KJ, PA Linley, & JP Grassle. 1984. Role of ovarian follicle cells in vitellogenesis and oocyte resorption in Capitella sp. I (Polychaeta). Marine Biology 79:133-144.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1984. Ultrastructure of spermatogenesis in the reef- building polychaete Phragmatopoma lapidosa (Sabellariidae) with special reference to acrosome morphogenesis. Journal of Ultrastructure Research 89: 146-164.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1984. Comparative aspects of oogenesis in polychaetes. IN: Polychaete Reproduction – Progress in Comparative Reproductive Biology, A. Fischer and H. Pfannenstiel (eds.), Gustav Fischer Verlag, New York, 123-148.
  • Eckelbarger KJ & J.P. Grassle. 1983. Ultrastructural differences in the eggs and ovarian follicle cells of Capitella (Polychaeta) sibling species, The Biological Bulletin 165:379-393.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1983. Evolutionary radiation in polychaete ovaries and vitellogenic mechanisms: their possible role in life history patterns. Canadian Journal of Zoology 61:487-504.
  • Eckelbarger KJ & J.P. Grassle.1982. Ultrastructure of the ovary and oogenesis in the polychaete Capitella jonesi (Hartman, 1959). Journal of Morphology 171: 305-320.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1982. Undulating arrays of endoplasmic reticulum in the spermatids of an opisthobranch mollusk. Tissue & Cell 14: 289-295.
  • Eckelbarger KJ & LS Eyster. 1981. An ultrastructural study of spermatogenesis in the nudibranch mollusk Spurilla neapolitana. Journal of Morphology 170: 283-299.
  • Eckelbarger KJ, R Scalon & JAC Nicols. 1980. The outer retina and tapetum lucidum of the snook Centropomas undecimalis (Teleostei). Canadian Journal of Zoology 58: 1042-1051.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1980. An ultrastructural study of oogenesis in Streblospio benedicti (Spionidae), with remarks on diversity of vitellogenic mechanisms in Polychaeta. Zoomorphologie 94: 241-263.
  • Eckelbarger KJ & F-S Chia. 1978. Morphogenesis of larval cuticle in the polychaete Phragmatopoma lapidosa. Cell & Tisssue Research 186: 187- 201.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1978. Metamorphosis and settlement in the Sabellariidae. IN: Settlement & Metamorphosis of Marine Invertebrate Larvae. F-S Chia and M. Rice (eds.), Elsevier/North Holland Biomedical Press, pp. 145-164.
  • Eckelbarger KJ & F-S Chia. 1976. Scanning electron microscopic observations of the larval development of the reef-building polychaete Phragmatopoma lapidosa. Canadian Journal of Zoology 54: 2082-2088.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1976. Larval development and population aspects of the reef-building polychaete Phragmatopoma lapidosa from the east coast of Florida. Bulletin of Marine Science 26: 117-132.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1976. Origin and development of the amoebocytes of Nicola zostericola (Polychaeta: terebellidae) with a discussion of their possible role in oogenesis. Marine Biology 36: 169-182.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1975. Larval development of Sabellaria floridensis from Florida and Phragmatopoma californica from southern California (Polychaeta: Sabellariidae) with a key to the sabellariid larvae of Florida and a review of development in the family. Bulletin of Marine Science
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1975. Developmental studies of the post-settling stages of Sabellaria vulgaris (Polychaeta: Sabellariidae). Marine Biology 30: 137-149.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1975. A light and electron microscope investigation of gametogenesis in Nicolea zostericola (Polychaeta: Terebellidae). Marine Biology 30: 353-370.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1974. Population biology and larval development of the terebellid polychaete Nicolea zostericola. Marine Biology 27: 101-113.
  • Eckelbarger KJ. 1973. A device for collecting free-swimming bivalve larvae from laboratory aquaria. The Veliger 15: 256-257.
  • Eckelbarger KJ & DJ Reish. 1972. Effects of varying temperatures and salinities on settlement, growth, and reproduction of the wood-boring pelecypodLyrodus pedicellatus.BulletinoftheSouthernCalifornia Academy of Sciences 71: 116-127.
  • Eckelbarger KJ & DJ Reish. 1972. A first report of self-fertilization in the wood- boring Family Teredinidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia). Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 71: 48-50.