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Meet The Team

PI: Dr. Kara Layton


Assistant Professor - Biology, UTM/EEB, UofT

PDF: Bedford Institute of Oceanography & MUN

PhD: University of Western Australia & Western Australian Museum

BSc, MSc: University of Guelph

I've been fascinated by invertebrates for as long as I can remember and I spent my graduate school years studying invertebrate biodiversity and systematics, with a particular focus on marine gastropods. As a postdoc, I spent time working in the well-resourced world of salmonids so I could better understand the microevolutionary processes underpinning diversity. Now, I merge these interests to investigate molluscan biodiversity, phylogeny and evolution across scales and systems.

Outside of work, I'm usually found chasing after a hockey stick-wielding toddler, hiking, diving, running or cooking.

EEB | Google Scholar | Bluesky | Twitter | kara.layton [at]

Graduate Students


Ethan Ross

PhD Student: University of Aberdeen

Previously: MSci, University of Southhampton

For my PhD, I study the marine invertebrate communities that inhabit temperate seagrass beds and how we can use environmental DNA to monitor them. I’m also interested in the applications of these methods for assessing habitat health and supporting local conservation and habitat restoration initiatives. Away from my studies you’ll find me enjoying a swim session, diligently painting model figurines or attempting to garden.

QUADRAT | Twitter


Victoria Gillman

PhD Student: University of Aberdeen

Previously: MSci, University of Southhampton

For my PhD, I'm integrating genomics and modelling to predict climate change response in the endangered freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) in Scotland. When I'm not working, catch me swimming, hiking and hanging out with my pup Ziggy on the Aberdeenshire beaches, clifftops, forests and Cairngorm mountains.

Website | Twitter



Jaskaran Khurana

ROP Student: University of Toronto Mississauga

For his summer project, Jaskaran is characterizing shell morphology and siphon colour in Hiatella ecotypes. 



Silvia Prieto Banos

MSci: University of Aberdeen

How do prey preference and chemical acquisition shape dorid nudibranch phylogeny?


Currently: PhD student,  Université de Lausanne


Brodie Thomas.png

Brodie Thomas

MSc: University of Aberdeen

An integrative approach to understanding colour variation in the sea lemon (Doris pseudoargus)


Currently: Marine Enhancement Advisor, NatureScot


Interested in joining the lab?

If you're interested in joining the lab, please send an email with your CV, a brief statement detailing your research experience and interests and why you think our lab is a good fit for you. We welcome, support and encourage diversity in academia so please don't hesitate to ask how can we best support and accommodate your needs. 

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