John Patrick Kociolek
B.S. St. Mary's College of Maryland (1980); M.S. Bowling Green State
University (1982); Ph.D. The University of Michigan (1988). Research Assistant
(1983-1987), Post-Doctoral Fellow (1988-1989), The University of Michigan.
Assistant Curator, California Academy of Sciences (1989-1992); Associate
Curator (1992- ); Chair, Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology
(1990-92); Director of Research (1993-1997); Executive Director (1998-
). Fellow, California Academy of Sciences (1991 - ). Fellow, American
Association for the Advancement of Science (1998- ). Research Professor,
San Francisco State University (1997- ). Adjunct Professor, University
of Michigan, University of Nebraska. Member: International Phycological
Society, International Society for Diatom Research, Phycological Society
Diatoms are unicellular plants of almost ubiquitous distribution which
have the interesting ability to produce cell walls made of glass. The
highly ornamented siliceous cell walls have attracted the attention of
microscopists for centuries, and most schemes of classification and interrelationships
have been based on the minutiae of the cell walls. Diatoms have an extensive
fossil record and most species are sensitive to changes in their environment,
making this group of organisms interesting to paleontologists, limnologists,
oceanographers, ecologists as well as systematists.
My research has focused on the taxonomy, ultrastructure, systematics
and phylogeny of the diatoms. Unlike higher plants and animals, a large
portion of the diatom flora of western North America (and the world!)
has yet to be described. Due to the small size of these organisms, observations
on their fine structure must be made with electron microscopes, and we
are still discovering many new structures. In trying to understand systematic
affinities of diatoms I have employed a "whole-organism" approach;
one that incorporates information from many aspects of their biology.
Patterns of character distribution are evaluated with cladistic analysis
to produce hypotheses of phylogenetic relationships and character evolution.
My work is not only focused on documenting the rich diversity of these
organisms, but also on the historical events that have determined their
distributions over space and time. I am currently describing the diversity
and morphology of the large (1000+ taxa) genus Gomphonema as well
as the biogeography and evolutionary relationships of Actinella
taxa and their allies in the rhaphidioid lineage. As part of my curatorial
duties I am also involved in the development of information management
systems that organize and disseminate information on diatom biogeography,
nomenclature, and literature.
I am also interested in applying results of my studies on diatoms specifically
to broader questions of pattern and process in evolutionary biology.
Kociolek, J.P. 1988. A preliminary investigation of the phylogenetic
relationships of the freshwater apical pore field-bearing cymbelloid and
gomphonemoid diatoms (Bacillariophyceae). Journal of Phycology 24: 377-385
(with E.F. Stoermer).
------------. 1989. Phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary history
of the diatom genus Gomphoneis. Phycologia 28 (4): (with E.F. Stoermer)
-------------. 1997. Historical constraints, species concepts and the
search for a natural classification of diatoms. Diatom 13: 3-8.
Kociolek, J.P. and K. Rhode. 1998. Raphe vestiges in "Asterionella"
species from Madagascar: Evidence for a polyphylectic origin of the
araphid diatoms? Cryptogamie: Algologie 19: 57-74.
Spaulding, S.A. and J.P. Kociolek. 1998. New Gomphonema (Bacillariophyceae)
species from Madagascar. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences,
4th Series, 50: 361-379.
Fourtanier, E. and J.P. Kociolek. 1999. Catalogue of diatom genera.
Diatom Research 14: 1-205.