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Dr. David Thistle

Professor Emeritus
Biological Oceanography
Phone: (850) 644-4089
Office: OSB513

The sediment-covered deep-sea floor is the largest habitat on Earth. Despite the extreme conditions (low temperatures, high pressures, and little food input), the number of species present at a given deep-sea location for some taxa can rival that of the most species-rich groups in the most species-rich habitats on Earth.

For many years, benthic animals were considered to live their adult lives in the seabed. In the 1970s, evidence began to accumulate that this view was incorrect for some species. Since that time, workers have found that species of many taxa (e.g., polychaetes, amphipods, and harpacticoid copepods) have a life style that is primarily benthic but includes time in the water column at night.

       Dr. David Thistle and Dr. Erin Easton, graduation summer, 2014

WILSON GE, Thistle D, HESSLER RO. The Plakarthriidae (Isopoda: Flabellifera): déjà vu. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 2008;58(4):331-343.
Thistle D, Sedlacek L, Carman KR, Fleeger JW, Barry JP. Emergence in the deep sea: Evidence from harpacticoid copepods. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers. 2007;54(6):1008-1014.
Thistle D. Harpacticoid copepod diversity at two physically reworked sites in the deep sea. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography. 1998;45(1-3):13-24.
Thistle D, Wilson GD. Is the HEBBLE isopod fauna hydrodynamically modified? A second test. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers. 1996;43(4):545-554.
Varon R, Thistle D. Response of a harpacticoid copepod to a small-scale natural disturbance. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 1988;118(3):245-256.
ECKMAN J, Thistle D. Small-scale spatial pattern in meiobenthos in the San Diego Trough. Deep Sea Research Part A. Oceanographic Research Papers. 1988;35(9):1565-1578.
Thistle D, WILSON G. A hydrodynamically modified, abyssal isopod fauna. Deep Sea Research Part A. Oceanographic Research Papers. 1987;34(1):73-87.
Thistle D, SHERMAN K. The nematode fauna of a deep-sea site exposed to strong near-bottom currents. Deep Sea Research Part A. Oceanographic Research Papers. 1985;32(9):1077-1088.
Thistle D. The role of biologically produced habitat heterogeneity in deep-sea diversity maintenance. Deep Sea Research Part A. Oceanographic Research Papers. 1983;30(12):1235-1245.
Thistle D. Enhydrosoma (Copepoda, Harpacticoida): An Update and Two New Species. Transactions of the American Microscopical Society. 1980;99(4):384.