Maria Pia Miglietta

Maria Pia Miglietta

Assistant Professor

Department of Marine Biology
Texas A&M University at Galveston
Ocean and Coastal Studies Building
Building 3029, Room #264
200 Seawolf Parkway, P.O. Box 1675
Galveston, Texas 77553, USA
Phone: 409-740-4458 | Fax: 409-740-5001

Curriculum Vitae


2000-2005 Ph.D. - Duke University. Advisor: C. Cunningham.
1996 Bachelor Degree + M.Sc. equivalent, Biology – Universita’ di Lecce (Italy). Summa cum laude.

Professional Experience

2014-to date Assistant Professor: Texas A&M University at Galveston
2011- 2013 Director, Minor in Sustainability: University of Notre Dame
2010-2013 Research Assistant Professor: University of Notre Dame
2008-2010  Postdoctoral Scholar: Pennsylvania State University, Charles Fisher's laboratory.
Nov. 2005-2007 Marine Science Network Postdoctoral Fellow: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), Panama, Harilaos Lessios and Rachel Collin's laboratories.


2015- Marb 482 Seminar, Texas A&M U. at Galveston
2014- Marb 301 Genetics, Texas A&M U. at Galveston
2015 Tropical Training in Taxonomy - Systematics and Biology of Hydrozoa (Cnidaria). Summer course (STRI, Bocas del Toro, Panama)
2013 43000 Sustainability Capstone Seminar; University of Notre Dame
2011-2013 Bios 30422 Marine Biology; University of Notre Dame.
2011 Bios 37361 What Sustainability Means To Us; University of Notre Dame.
2008-10 Bio 406 – Symbiosis; Pennsylvania State University.
2009 Bio 417 Invertebrate Zoology; Pennsylvania State University.

Peer Reviewed Publications

  1. Miglietta M. P., Maggioni D., Matsumoto Y. A new assessment on two invasive Hydrozoa (Cnidaria): Turritopsis dohrnii and Pennaria disticha  In Prep.
  2. Pruski S., Alpizar M., S. Jeronimo S. , Wanderley Lawley J., Maggioni D., Martell L., Matsumoto Y. , Moncada A., Nagale P., Phongphattarawat S., Sheridan C., Soto S., S. Piraino and M.P. Miglietta.  Hydrozoa (Cnidaria) diversity from shallow waters of  Bocas del Toro, Panama (Caribbean coast of Panama) based on morphological and barcoding data, with accessible  tools for species identification. In Prep.
  3. Collin R., Fredericq S., Freshwater D. W., Maslakova S., Miglietta M.P., Rocha R., Rodríguez E., Thacker R.W. Taxagloss- A Glossary and Translation Tool for Biodiversity Studies. Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e10732 (21 Dec 2016).
  4. Lisenkova A.A. , Grigorenko A.P., Tyajelova T.V. , Andreeva T.V. , Gusev F.E., Manakhov A. D., Goltsov A. Yu., Piraino S., Miglietta M.P and Rogaev E.I.  Complete mitochondrial genome sequence and evolutionary analysis of Turritopsis dohrnii, the "immortal" jellyfish with reversible life-cycle. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 107 (2017): 232-238.
  5. Miglietta, M. P. (2016). Re-description of Turritopsis fascicularis from the deep Gulf of Mexico, with a discussion on its phylogenetic placement within the genus. Zootaxa, 4097 (3): 426–433.
  6. Miglietta, M. P., Odegard, D., Faure, B., & Faucci, A. (2015). Barcoding Techniques Help Tracking the Evolutionary History of the Introduced Species Pennaria disticha (Hydrozoa, Cnidaria). PloS One, 10(12), e0144762.
  7. Haddad M.A., Lima Bettim A., Miglietta M.P. (2014) Description of Podocoryna loyola n. sp. (Hydrozoa, Hydractiniidae) of artificial substrata from South of Brazil. Zootaxa 3796 (3), 494-506
  8. Miglietta M.P., and Cunningham C.W. (2012) Evolution of life cycle, colony morphology and host-specificity in the Hydractiniidae (Hydrozoa, Cnidaria). Evolution 66(12) 3876–3901
  9. Santini F., Miglietta M.P., Faucci A., (2012) Speciation: where are we now? An introduction to a special issue of  Evolutionary Biology on speciation. Evolutionary Biology 3(2) 141-147
  10. Miglietta M.P., Faucci A., Santini F. (2011) Speciation in the Sea: Overview of the Symposium and Discussion of Future Directions. Integrative and Comparative Biology 51(3): 449-455
  11. Miglietta M.P., Hourdez S., Cordes E., Cowad D. A., and Fisher C. (2010) Species boundaries of Gulf of Mexico vestimentiferans inferred from mitochondrial genes. Deep Sea Research II 57: 1916–1925.
  12. Miglietta M.P, McNally L. and Cunningham C.W. (2010) – Evolution of Calcium Carbonate skeletons in the Hydractiniidae. Integrative and Comparative Biology 50 (3): 428-435.
  13. Miglietta M.P., P. Schuchert and Cunningham C.W. (2009) Reconciling genealogical and morphological species in the Hydractiniidae (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa). Zoologica Scripta 38: 403–430.
  14. Miglietta M.P., Lessios H. (2009) A Silent Invasion. Biological Invasions 11 (4): 825-834. This paper was featured on, The National Geographic News, NYT magazine, The Times, CNN International, Science & Vie (Magazine, France), MacLeans (Canada), and many others.
  15. Collin R. and Miglietta M.P. (2008) Reversing opinions on Dollo's Law. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 23 (11): 602-609.
  16. Miglietta M.P., Rossi M., Collin R. (2008) - Hydromedusa Blooms with Upwelling Events in the Bay of Panama, Tropical East Pacific. Journal of Plankton Research 30(7):783-793– Journal Cover.
  17. Cartwright P., Evans N, Dunn C.W., Marques A.C., Miglietta M.P., Schuchert P. and. Collins A.G. (2008) - Phylogenetics of Hydroidolina (Hydrozoa, Cnidaria). Journal of Marine Biological Association UK 88 (08): 1663-1672.
  18. Boero F., Bouillon J., Gravili C., Miglietta M.P., Pearson T., Piraino S. (2008). Gelatinous Plankton: Irregularities rule the world (sometimes). Marine Ecology Progress Series 356: 299-310.
  19. Denitto F., Miglietta M.P., Boero F. (2007) - Life cycle of Bougainvillia nana Hartlaub, 1911 (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa, Bougainvillidae) from Italy, with a discussion on the presence of the cosmopolitan Bougainvillia muscus in the Mediterranean Sea. Journal of Marine Biological Association UK 87: 853-857.
  20. Miglietta M.P., Piraino S., Kubota S., Schuchert P. (2007)- Species in the genus Turritopsis (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa), a molecular evaluation. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 45: (1), 11-19.
  21. Miglietta M.P. (2006) - Hydractinia antonii sp. nov.: A New, Partially Calcified Hydractiniid (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa, Hydractiniidae) from Alaska. Journal of Marine Biological Association UK 86: 993-996.
  22. Miglietta M.P., Kubota S. (2006) - Unique behaviors of the hydroids of Eugymnanthea  (Hydrozoa, Leptomedusae, Eirenidae) living in the mantle cavity of bivalves. Thalassia Salentina 29: 107-112.
  23. Fraschetti S., Giangrande A., Terlizzi A., Miglietta M.P., Della Tommasa L., Boero F. (2002)  - Spatio-temporal variation of hydroids and polychaetes associated to Cystoseira amentacea (Fucales, Phaeophyceae): a regional scale approach. Marine Biology 140: 949-957.
  24. Miglietta M.P., Della Tommasa L., Denitto F., Gravili C., Pagliara P., Boero F. (2000) - Approaches to hydromedusan ethology. In Trends in Hydrozoan Biology – IV - Scientia Marina 64 (1): 63-71.
  25. Fraschetti S., Bianchi C.N., Boero F., Buia M.C., Della Tommasa L., Denitto F., Esposito L., Fanelli G., Giangrande A., Miglietta M.P., Morri C., Piraino S., Rubino F. (1999) – Human disturbance and biodiversity along the apulian coast. Biologia Marina Mediterranea 6 (1): 198-204.
  26. Belmonte G., Costantini A., Denitto F., Della Tommasa L., Miglietta M.P., Onorato R., Poto M., Vetere M. (1999) – Indagine ecologica sulla Grotta sottomarina delle Corvine (Nardò, Lecce): dati preliminari. Biologia Marina Mediterranea 6 (1): 343-346.
  27. Miglietta M.P., Della Tommasa L., Denitto F., Pagliara P., Gravili C. (1998) - Hydroids, hunting without moving. Biologia Marina Mediterranea 5 (1): 362-364.
  28. Boero F., Gravili C., Denitto F., Miglietta M.P., Bouillon J. (1997) - The rediscovery of Codonorchis octaedrus, Hydroidomedusae, Anthomedusae, Pandeidae with an update of the Mediterranean hydromedusan biodiversity. Italian Journal of Zoology 64: 359-365.

Other Publications

Pederson J., Bullock R., Carlton J., Dyrynda P., Fisher R., Harris L., Hobbs N., Lambert G., Lazo-Wasem E., Mathieson A., Miglietta M.P., Smith J., Dijkstra J., Dobroski N., Tyrrell M., Smith J. (2003) Marine Invaders in the Northeast. Rapid assessment survey of the U.S. Northeast Coast -Non-native and native species of floating dock fouling communities from Maine through New York City - Report of the August 3-9, 2003 Survey. M.I.T. Sea Grant College Publication. 46 Pg.

Meetings and Presentations (Last 5 years).

December 2015  University of Houston, TX
November 2015  Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
April 2014 Texas A&M University at Galveston, TX
March 2013 Texas A&M University at Galveston, TX
February 2013 CUNY, York College, NY.
January 2011 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Salt Lake City, Utah
October 2010 University of Notre Dame, IN
March 2010 University of Notre Dame, IN

Courses & Professional Development

August 2016     UC Davis – Galaxy RNA-Seq, Exom-Seq, and Variant Finding Workshop

Grants & Awards

2016 PESCA Grant Award, TAMU. Comparative transcriptomics underlying transdifferentiation in "the immortal jellyfish" Turritopsis dohrnii. PI. $10,000
2016 Montague-Center for Teaching Excellence Scholar Award. Texas A&M University. $6.500
2016 Texas Sea Grant. "Drivers of jellyfish blooms in the Gulf of Mexico: From ecosystems to genes". PI. $9,500.
2015 NSF ARTS: Integrative Research and Training in Tropical Taxonomy.  $605,761 total of which  $69.998 to MP Miglietta.
2014 Texas A&M Genomics Seed Grant :"Comparative transcriptomics underlying the life cycle reversal and transdifferentiation of Turritopsis dohrnii”: $18,233
2011 - National Science Foundation, PI: Symposium “Speciation in the Sea”, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Meeting, Salt lake City, Utah;

- SICB divisions of Evolutionary Developmental Biology, Division of Developmental and Cell Biology, Division of Invertebrate Zoology, Division of Ecology and Evolution: Symposium “Speciation in the Sea”;

- American Microscopical Society: Symposium “Speciation in the Sea”.
2005-2007 Smithsonian Marine Science Network postdoctoral fellowship, two years, research and salary.
2006 Italian Society of Evolutionary Biology travel award.
1998-2000 Fellowship to study the benthic community of the Apulian Coast – Lab. of Zoology, University of Lecce. P.I: Prof. F. Boero (University of Lecce).
1997 Italian Society of Marine Biology – Trani, Italy – Most original poster award.

Professional Service

  • NSF Evolutionary Ecology Panelist (2011 and 2016).
  • NSF ad hoc reviewer.
  • Director of the Minor in Sustainability, University of Notre Dame (2010-2013). NSF Evolutionary Ecology Panelist
  • Guest editor of Evolutionary Biology: special issue on speciation (Evolutionary Biology 3(2), 2012).
  • Organizer of the symposium “Speciation in the sea”, during 2011 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah. The symposium resulted in a special issue of the Integrative and Comparative Biology Journal on speciation.
  • Reviewer for the journals: Zoomorphology Molecular Biology and Evolution, Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Ecology, Functional Ecology, Journal of Plankton Research, Polar Biology, Marine Biology, Marine Biology Research, Zootaxa, Journal Marine Biological Association UK, Journal of Systematic Paleontology, Hydrobiologia, PLoS One.
  • Proposal Reviewer for: National Science Foundation (NSF) and The City University of NY (CUNY)
  • ~ 500 sequences contribute to GenBank and ~400 sequences contributed to ABBA (All Bocas Barcode Alliance, Smithsonian Institute)
  • Contributing expert to Bocas del Toro on line taxonomic database

Field Work

  • Dec. 2014
    Galveston, TX. Plankton towing.
  • June 2016
    Bocas del Toro, Panama. Collection of Hydrozoa. Snorkeling, plankton towing.
  • July 2015
    Bocas del Toro, Panama. Collection of Hydrozoa. Snorkeling, plankton towing.
  • August 2014
    Otranto, Italy. Collecting Turritopsis dohrnii
  • Sept 2011
    Fort Pierce- Florida, USA. Collecting Turritopsis dohrnii.
  • Sept ’08
    Gulf of Mexico – Collecting Deep Sea Cnidaria on Noaa ROV Expedition
  • Nov ‘05-Nov ’07
    Atlantic (Boca del Toro) and Pacific (Las Perlas, Taboga, Tabougilla) coasts of Panama
  • February 2007
    Coiba and N Pacific Panamanian Islands – 10 Days Cruise on Smithsonian boat Urraca. Sampling by SCUBA diving, dredging and trawling
  • Apr and Oct ’06
    Fort Pierce - Florida, USA - Collection of Hydrozoa by snorkeling and plankton towing
  • Sept 2004
    Beaufort – North Carolina, USA - Collection of Hydrozoa by dredging and plankton towing
  • Aug 2003
    Rapid Assessment Survey for Invasive Species (RAS), East US Coast, organized by J. Carlton (William - Mystic College) and J. Pederson (MIT)
  • Aug. 2003
    Iceland - Collection of Hydrozoa by SCUBA diving
  • Jan. 2003
    South Africa - Collection of Cnidaria by SCUBA diving
  • Oct. 2001
    WHOI – Massachusetts, USA– Collection of Hydrozoa by dredging
  • June-Aug 2001
    Japan - Collection of Cnidaria by SCUBA diving and dredging
  • Dec-Jan 2000/2001
    New Zealand – Collection of Hydrozoa by SCUBA diving
  • Oct. 2000
    Beaufort – North Carolina, USA - Collection of Hydrozoa by dredging and plankton towing
  • 1997-2000
    Italy – Biodiversity surveys by SCUBA diving along the Apulian coast and in marine caves


Languages: Italian, English, and Spanish.
Diving: International diving licenses: “open water” (ANIS) (from 1995); “advanced” (CMAS) (from 1999); Smithsonian Scientific diving license (2005-2008)