Research Organisms
Helping scientists unlock fundamental secrets of biology to understand the world and ourselves.
Groundbreaking Research at the MBL New Research Organisms Strategic Initiative
Chain Catshark Embryos
Credit: Tom Kleindinst

Even deceptively simple-looking animals can help unlock the secrets of life. At the MBL we study creatures that hold the keys to understanding fundamental questions in science—questions about ourselves, our origins, and our environment. These creatures can also help us understand how evolution generates the marvelous array of creatures on Earth or help us combat the effects of climate change.

Learn more about some of the animals we are studying and how they are bringing us closer to solving some of the most important problems of our time.

Atlantic Horseshoe Crab

Limulus polyphemus

Atlantic Horseshoe Crab on a beach
Learn more about the Atlantic Horseshoe Crab

Ambystoma mexicanum

Axolotls with natural differences in pigmentation in Karen Echeverri’s MBL laboratory.
Learn more about Axolotls
Bat Sea Star

Patiria miniata

The bat sea star Patiria miniata. Photo credit: Conor Gearin
Learn more about Bat Sea Stars
California Two-Spot Octopus

O. Bimaculoides

california two spot octupos on a black background. Credit: tom Kleindinst
Learn more about the California Two-Spot Octopus
Comb Jelly

Mnemiopsis leidyi 

Comb Jelly (Mnemiopsis leidyi). Credit: William E. Browne
Learn more about Comb Jellies
Flamboyant Cuttlefish

Metasepia pfefferi

Flamboyant cuttlefish
Learn more about Flamboyant Cuttlefish
Hummingbird Bobtail Squid

Euprymna berryi

Hummingbird bobtail squid (Euprymna berryi). Credit: Tim Briggs
Learn more about Hummingbird Bobtail Squid
Lesser Pacific Striped Octopus

Octopus chierchiae

Pygmy zebra octopus
Learn more about O. chierchiae
Little Skate

Leucoraja erinacea

little skate on a white background credit: J Andrew Gillis
Learn more about Little Skate
Northern Star Coral

Astrangia poculata

Northern star coral (Astrangia poculata)
Learn more about the Northern Star Coral

Brachionus manjavacas

Brachionus rotifer. Courtesy: Kristin Gribble
Learn more about Brachionus Rotifers
Sea Lamprey

Petromyzon marinus

sea lamprey
Learn more about Sea Lamprey
Striped Bass

Morone saxatilis

Underwater photo of striped bass eating capelin. Credit: Steve Zottoli
Learn more about Striped Bass