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


Reproductive and developmental biology of marine invertebrates; deep-sea biology. I have been conducting long-term research on the factors controlling reproductive cycles in marine invertebrates, particularly those in bathyal and deep-water habitats. Much of my work involves the use of oceanographic research ships and manned submersibles. For the past twelve years, most of this research has been conducted in the Gulf of Mexico (methane sold seeps), the Bahama Islands, the Pacific ocean (hydrothermal vents) and the Gulf of Maine in collaboration with colleagues at the Univ. of Southampton (Britain) and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Inst. A good deal of my work focuses on the ultrastructural features of gametogenesis, especially oogenesis, and the mechanisms of yolk synthesis in the egg. Through the use of electron microscopy, I have been able to better understand how food drives egg production in deep water invertebrates that often have access to limited food supplies. Of particular interest are the factors that determine whether a deep sea species undergoes annual or continuous reproduction, often in the absence of environmental cues (light, food, temperature change) that influence the reproductive cycles of shallow water species.


  • Eckelbarger, KJ & A.N 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.
  • Derived sperm morphology in the interstitial      sea cucumber Rhabdomolgus ruber with observations on oogenesis and spawning behavior. Invertebrate Biology. Eckelbarger, K.J & N. W. Riser. 132: 270-281.
  • The Biological Bulletin 203: 134-143
    Eckelbarger, KJ and CM Young. 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.
  • Marine Biology
    Eckelbarger, KJ, CM Young, E. Ramirez Llodra, S. Brooke, PA Tyler. 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.
  • Invertebrate Biology
    Hodgson AN and KJ Eckelbarger. 2000. Ultrastructure of the ovary and oogenesis in six species ofpatellid limpets (Gastropoda: Patellogastropoda) from South Africa. Invertebrate Biology 119: 265-277.
  • Marine Biology
    Eckelbarger, KJ, and 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.
  • 1998 Marine Biology
    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.
  • 1997 Invertebrate Biology
    Eckelbarger, KJ and 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.
  • 1995 Invertebrate Biology
    Eckelbarger, KJ and L Watling. 1995. Role of phylogenetic constraints in determining reproductive patterns in deep-sea invertebrates. Invertebrate Biology, 114: 256-269.
  • Marine Ecology Progress Series
    Young, CM and KJ Eckelbarger (eds.). 1994. Reproduction, Larval Biology & Recruitment of the Deep-Sea Benthos. Columbia University Press, 427 pp. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 42: 207-212.
  • Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington
    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.