Douglas J. Eernisse

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Department of Biological Science
California State University
Fullerton, CA 92834-6850 USA
Voice: (657) 278-3749
FAX: (657) 278-3426
Email: deernisse @


1984, Ph.D. Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz

1977, B.A. Zoology, University of Washington


Calif. State Univ. Fullerton, Principles of Evolution, Evolution, Genes and Genomes, Evolutionary Pathways, Marine Phylogeography, Computer Lab in Molecular Systematics, Field Marine Biology, Marine Biology for Nonmajors, Honors Seminar on History of Life, for Non-Science Majors, Teaching Evolution: Online Course for Teachers, Phylogeography of Baja California, Principles of Zoology, Biosystematics, Biology for Nonmajors, 1994-present; Univ. of Michigan, Biology of Invertebrates, Biology for Nonscientists, Majors Biology, 1986-1994; Univ. of Michigan Graduate courses led: Topics in Metazoan Phylogeny, Topics in Molluscan Systematics; Woods Hole Marine Biological Lab., Instructor, Molecular Evolution Workshop, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997; Univ. of Californa, Santa Cruz, Visiting Lecturer, Intertidal Biology, Spring, 1984, and TA, 1978-1983, Friday Harbor Laboratories, Univ. of Washington, Teaching Assistant, Marine Invertebrate Embryology, 1981


Professor, California State University, 2005-present
Associate Professor, California State University, 1998-2005
Assistant Professor, California State University, 1994-1998
Visiting Scientist, Lab of Molec. System., Smithsonian Inst., Washington, D.C., 1994
Assist. Prof. and Assist. Curator, Dept. Biol. and Mus. Zool., Univ. Michigan, 1986-1993
NSF Postdoctoral Associate, University of Washington, Friday Harbor Labs, 1985-1986
Friday Harbor Labs Postdoctoral Associate, University of Washington, 1984
Visiting Lecturer, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1984

Professional Service

Member of Council, Society of Systematic Biologists, 1998-2002
Editorial Board, Zoomorphology, 2004-present
Editorial Board, Evolution: Education and Outreach, 2007-2012
Editorial Board, Festivus, 1993-2017
Editorial Board, Diversity, 2020-present
Editor, Western Society of Malacologists Annual Report, 2000-2005
Associate Editor, Malacological Review, 1986-1993 (Vols. 19-26)
Associate Editor, Prosobranch Phylogeny, Malacological Review, Suppl. 4, 1988
Fellow, Willi Hennig Society, 1992-present
Advisory Panel, National Science Foundation, 1994-1996
Bioinformatics Advisory Board Member, CSU Fullerton, 2001-present
NCBI GenBank Taxwork consultant, 1994-1995
Research Associate in Malacology, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

President, American Malacological Society, 2009-2010
Chair, Nominating Committee, American Malacological Society, 2010-present

Recent Awards and Honors

Eernisse, D. J. (PI), Oakley, T. H. (Co-PI), and Speiser, D. I. (Co-PI). Collaborative Research: RUI: Timing and Molecular Origins of Recently Evolved Chiton Shell-Eyes: Phylogenomics of Chitonina. National Science Foundation grant, 2014-2017 (DEB - 1355230).
Sabbatical Scholar Fellowship, NESCent, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina (2006-2007)
Honored in naming of Loricella eernissei Sirenko, 2008 (Recent, New Caledonia) and Craspedochiton eernissei Dell'Angelo et al. 2011 (Eocene, western Washington)

Selected Publications
(See also Google Scholar Profile for "Douglas J. Eernisse")

Goto, R., T. Takano, D. J. Eernisse, M. Kato, and Y. Kano. 2021. Snails riding mantis shrimps: Ectoparasites evolved from ancestors living as commensals on the host's burrow wall. Mol. Phyl. Evol., 163 (2021) 107122.

Salvia, D., H. Bertsch, J. Cáceres-Martínez, R. Cruz-Flores, M. A. Del Rio-Portilla, D. J. Eernisse, J. M. Healy, F. Lafarga-De La Cruz, E. Londoño-Cruz, and P. Mariottini. 2021. Letter to Editor: Taxonomic discussion on scientific names for Pacific oysters requires evidence-based arguments and pluralism. Aquaculture, (2022) 737298.

Scuderi, D., T. Nakano, and D. J. Eernisse. 2021. A limpet (Lottiidae), introduced to Sicily, is traced to its homeland in Sri Lanka and described as a new species. Malacologia, 64(1): 79-92.

Eernisse, D. J. and D. R. Lindberg. 2020. In memorium: John S. Pearse. Invert. Biol. 139:e12309.

Lindberg, D. R., T. M. Gosliner, and D. J. Eernisse. 2020. John Stuart Pearse (1936-2020). Amer. Malacol. Soc. Newsletter Fall 2020: 18-21.

Calatayud, S., M. Garcia-Risco, V. Pedrini-Martha, D. J. Eernisse, R. Dallinger, O. Palacios, M. Capdevila and R. Albalat. 2021. Modularity in protein evolution: modular organization and de novo domain evolution in mollusk metallothioneins. Molecular Biology and Evolution, published online (2020).

Navarrete, A. H., J. Sellanes, M.C. Pardo-Gandarillas, B. Sirenko, D. J. Eernisse, P. A. Camus, F. P. Ojeda, and C.M. Ibáñez. 2020. Latitudinal distribution of polyplacophorans along the South-eastern Pacific coast: unravelling biases in geographical diversity patterns. Mar. Biodivers. 50, 45 (2020). DOI: 10.1007/s12526-020-01060-0 or viewable full text.

Irisarri, I., J. E. Uribe, D. J. Eernisse, and R. Zardoya. 2020. A mitogenomic phylogeny of chitons (Mollusca: Polyplacophora). BMC Evolutionary Biology,20, 22 (2020). DOI: 10.1186/s12862-019-1573-2.

Connors, M., T. Yang, A. Hosny, Z. Deng, F. Yazdandoost, H. Massadi, D.J. Eernisse, R. Mirzaeifar, M. N. Dean, J.C. Weaver, C. Ortiz, and L. Li. 2019. Biologically-inspired lessons from chiton scales for the design of flexible armors. Nature Communications 10(1), 5413. DOI:10.1038/s41467-019-13215-0

Garcia, E., C. A. Rice, D. J. Eernisse, K. L. Forsgren, J. P. Quimbayo, and G. W. Rouse. 2019. Systematic relationships of sympatric pipefishes (Syngnathus spp.): A mismatch between morphological and molecular variation. Journal of Fish Biology 95: 999-1012. DOI: 10.1111/jfb.14073

Ibáñez, C., D. J. Eernisse, M. A. Méndez, M. Valladares, J. Sellanes, B. Sirenko, and M. C. Pardo-Gandarillas. 2019. Phylogeny, divergence times, and species delimitation of Tonicia (Polyplacophora: Chitonidae) from the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 186: 915-933. DOI: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlz006

Eernisse, D. J., A. Draeger and E. M. Pilgrim. 2018. Chitons (Mollusca: Polyplacophora) rafted on tsunami debris from Japan to the shores of Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii. Aquatic Invasions 13: 71-86. (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Scuderi, D. and D. J. Eernisse. 2016. A new alien limpet for the Mediterranean: Lottia sp.(Patellogastropoda: Lottiidae). Biodiversity Journal 7: 287-293. (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

McClain, C. R., J. P. Barry, D. Eernisse, T. Horton, J. Judge, K. Kakui, C. Mah, and A. Warén. 2016. Multiple processes generate productivity-diversity relationships in experimental wood-fall communities. Ecology 97: 885-898.

Peterson, K. J. and D. J. Eernisse. 2016. The phylogeny, evolutionary developmental biology, and paleobiology of the Deuterostomia: 25 years of new techniques, new discoveries and new ideas. Organisms Diversity and Evolution 16: 401-418. (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Raith, M., D. C. Zacherl, E. M. Pilgrim, and D. J. Eernisse. 2016. Phylogeny and species diversity of Gulf of California oysters (Ostreidae) inferred from mitochondrial DNA. American Malacological Bulletin, 33: 263-283. (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Irisarri, I., D. J. Eernisse, and R. Zardoya. 2014. Molecular phylogeny of Acanthochitonina (Mollusca: Polyplacophora: Chitonida): three new mitochondrial genomes, rearranged gene orders and systematics. Journal of Natural History, 48: 2825-2853.

Smith, J. R., S. C. Vogt, F. Creedon, B. Lucas, and D. J. Eernisse. 2014. The non-native turf-forming alga Caulacanthus ustulatus displaces space-occupants but increases diversity. Biological Invasions 16: 2195-2208. (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Gilbertson, L. H., D. J. Eernisse, and J. K. Wallace. 2013. A new dartless species of Cahuillus (Pulmonata: Helminthoglyptidae) from the Mojave Desert, California with a reassignment of Eremarionta rowelli unifasciata. American Malacological Bulletin 31: 57-64. (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Vendrasco, M. J., D. J. Eernisse, C. L. Powell, II, and C. Z. Fernandez. 2012. Polyplacophora (Mollusca) from the San Diego Formation: A remarkable assemblage of fossil chitons from the Pliocene of southern California. Contributions in Science, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County 520: 15-72 - or here - (Download Acrobat Reader)

Speiser, D. I., D. J. Eernisse, and S. Johnsen. 2011. A chiton uses aragonite lenses to form images. Current Biology - 21: 665-670 - (Download Acrobat Reader)

Eernisse, D.J., M. F. Strathmann, and R. R. Strathmann. 2010. Henricia pumila sp. nov.: A brooding seastar (Asteroidea) from the coastal northeastern Pacific. Zootaxa, 2329: 22-36 (open access).

S&E_CoverStebbins, T. D. and D. J. Eernisse. 2009. Chitons (Mollusca, Polyplacophora) known from benthic monitoring programs in the Southern California Bight. Festivus (Special Issue) 41(6): 53-100 (pdf 2 mb or high resol. pdf 24 mb) - (Download Acrobat Reader)

Puchalski, S. S., C. C. Johnson, E. G. Kauffman, and D. J. Eernisse. 2009. A new genus and two new species of multiplacophorans (Mollusca, Polyplacophora, Neoloricata), Mississippian (Chesterian), Indiana. Journal of Paleontology 83: 423-431. (high resol. pdf 10 mb) - (Download Acrobat Reader)

Polson, M. P., W. E. Hewson, D. J. Eernisse, P. K. Baker, and D. C. Zacherl. 2009. You say conchaphila, I say lurida: Molecular evidence for restricting the Olympia oyster to temperate western North America. Journal of Shellfish Research 28: 1-11. (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Serb, J. M. and D. J. Eernisse. 2008. Charting evolution’s trajectory: Using molluscan eye diversity to understand parallel and convergent evolution. Evolution: Education and Outreach 1(4):439-447. (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Eernisse, D. J. 2008. Introduction to the symposium “Advances in Chiton Research”. American Malacological Bulletin 25: 21-24 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Vendrasco, M. J., C. Z. Fernandez, D. J. Eernisse, and B. Runnegar. 2008. Aesthete canal morphology in the Mopaliidae (Polyplacophora). American Malacological Bulletin 25: 51-70 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Puchalski, S. S., D. J. Eernisse, and C. C. Johnson. 2008. The effect of sampling bias on the fossil record of chitons (Mollusca, Polyplacophora). American Malacological Bulletin 25: 87-96 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader) (database here)

Kelly, R. P. and D. J. Eernisse. 2008. Reconstructing a radiation: The chiton genus Mopalia in the north Pacific. Invertebrate Systematics 22:1-12. (request pdf by email) - (Download Acrobat Reader)

tidepools Eernisse, D. J. 2007. Chitons. Pp. 127-133, in: Encyclopedia of Tidepools and Rocky Shores. M. W. Denny and S. D. Gaines (Eds.) University of California Press, Berkeley, California. pdf - (Download Acrobat Reader)

LM_cover Eernisse, D. J., R. N. Clark, and A. Draeger. 2007. Polyplacophora. Pp. 701-713, in: Light and Smith Manual: Intertidal Invertebrates from Central California to Oregon, 4th Ed. J. T. Carlton (Ed.). University of California Press, Berkeley, California pdf - (Download Acrobat Reader)

Kelly, R. P., and D. J. Eernisse. 2007. Southern hospitality: A latitudinal gradient in gene flow in the marine environment. Evolution, 61: 700-707 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Kelly. R. P., I. N. Sarkar, D. J. Eernisse, and R. Desalle. 2007. DNA barcoding using chitons (genus Mopalia). Molecular Ecology Notes, 7: 177-183 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Crummett, L. T. and D. J. Eernisse. 2007. Genetic evidence for the cryptic species pair, Lottia digitalis and Lottia austrodigitalis and microhabitat partitioning in sympatry. Marine Biology, 152: 1-13 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

tol_cover Eernisse, D. J. and K. J. Peterson, 2004. Chapter 13: The history of animals. Pp. 197-208, in (Cracraft, J. and M. J. Donoghue, eds.) Assembling the Tree of Life. Oxford University Press, New York. (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Eernisse, D. J. 2004. Foreward to Systematics, Phylogeny and Biology of Polyplacophora: Proceedings to the 4th International Workshop of Malacology held in Menfi, Sicily (14-18 June 2001) Istituzione Culturale Federico II. Bollettino Malacologico 40: i-iv (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Okusu, A., E. Schwabe, D. J. Eernisse, and G. Giribet. 2003. Towards a phylogeny of chitons (Mollusca: Polyplacophora) based on combined analysis of five molecular loci. Organisms Diversity & Evolution 3(4): 281-302 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Pojeta, J. Jr., D. J. Eernisse, R. D. Hoare, and M. D. Henderson. 2003. Echinochiton dufoei: A new spiny Ordovician chiton. Journal of Paleontology 77: 646-654 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Eernisse, D.J. 2003. A more colorful invertebrates text. Bioscience 53(8): 774-776 [Book review of Invertebrates 2nd Ed. by Brusca and Brusca] (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Peterson, K. J. and D. J. Eernisse, 2001. Animal phylogeny and the ancestry of bilaterians: Inferences from morphology and 18S rDNA gene sequences. Evolution and Development 3(3): 1-35 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Eernisse, 2000. DNA Stacks software package for molecular systematics, version 1.3. Available at:

Eernisse, D. J. 1998b. A brief guide to phylogenetic software. Trends in Genetics 14(11), 473-475 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Eernisse, D. J. 1998a. Class Polyplacophora. Pp. 49-73, in: Taxonomic Atlas of the Benthic Fauna of the Santa Maria Basin and the Western Santa Barbara Channel, Volume 8. The Mollusca, Part 1: Aplacophora, Polyplacophora, Scaphopoda, Bivalvia and Cephalopoda (P. Valentich Scott and J.A. Blake, eds.). Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara, California.

Eernisse, D. J. 1997b. Arthropod and annelid relationships re-examined. Pp. 43-56, in: Arthropod Relationships (R.A. Fortey and R.H. Thomas, eds.). The Systematics Association and Chapman and Hall, London.

Eernisse, D. J. 1997a. Review of Origin and Evolutionary Radiation of the Mollusca (J.D. Taylor, Ed.). Quarterly Review of Biology, 72:79 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Eernisse, D. J. 1995b. Molecular and classical taxonomy workshop. Cahiers de la Fondation des Treilles, Annee' 1994: 55-73.

Eernisse, D. J. 1995a. Molecular and classical taxonomy workshop at Tourtour, France, November, 1994. J. Europ. Sci. Found. 32: 24-25.

Eernisse, D. J., and P. D. Reynolds. 1994. Chapter 3. Polyplacophora. Pp. 56-110 in Microscopic Anatomy of Invertebrates, Volume 5, Mollusca 1 (F. W. Harrison and A. J. Kohn, eds.). Wiley-Liss, New York. (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Strathmann, R. R., and D. J. Eernisse. 1994. What molecular phylogenies tell us about evolution of larval morphology. American Zoologist 34: 502-512 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Eernisse, D. J., and A. G. Kluge. 1993. Taxonomic congruence versus total evidence, and the phylogeny of amniotes inferred from fossils, molecules and morphology. Molecular Biology and Evolution 10: 1170-1195 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Buckland-Nicks, J.A., and D. J. Eernisse. 1993. Ultrastructure of mature sperm and eggs of the brooding hermaphroditic chiton, Lepidochitona fernaldi Eernisse, 1986, with observations on the mechanism of fertilization. Journal of Experimental Zoology 265: 567-574 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Eernisse, D. J., J. S. Albert & F. E. Anderson. 1992. Annelida and Arthropoda are not sister taxa: A phylogenetic analysis of spiralian metazoan morphology. Systematic Biology 41(3): 305-330 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Eernisse, D. J. 1992. DNA Translator and Aligner: HyperCard utilities to aid phylogenetic analysis of molecules. CABIOS 8:177-184 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader) [See above]

Eernisse, D. J. 1990. DNA Translator: a HyperCard stack for molecular systematics. 1991. Aligner: a HyperCard stack for manual sequence alignment. Published electronically, available via anonymous ftp to Ftp.Bio.Indiana.Edu.

Eernisse, D. J. 1988. Reproductive patterns in six species of Lepidochitona (Mollusca: Polyplacophora) from the Pacific Coast of North America. Biological Bulletin 174: 287-302 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

O'Foighil, D. and D. J. Eernisse. 1988. Geographically widespread, non-hybridizing, sympatric strains of the hermaphroditic, brooding clam Lasaea in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. Biological Bulletin 175: 218-229 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Eernisse, D. J. and K. Kerth. 1988. The initial stages of radular formation in chitons (Mollusca: Polyplacophora). Malacologia 28: 95-103 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Eernisse, D. J., N. B. Terwilliger, and R. C. Terwilliger. 1988. The red foot of a lepidopleurid chiton: Evidence for tissue hemoglobins. Veliger 30: 244-247 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Strathmann, M. and D. J. Eernisse. 1987. Phylum Mollusca, Class Polyplacophora. Pp. 205-219 in The Friday Harbor Labs Handbook of Marine Invertebrate Embryology. Univ. of Wash. Press, Seattle.

O'Foighil, D. and D. J. Eernisse. 1987. Phosphoglucomutase allozyme evidence for an outcrossing mode of reproduction in the hermaphroditic brooding bivalve Mysella tumida (Galeommatacea). J. Molluscan Studies 53: 223-228 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Eernisse, D. J. 1986. The genus Lepidochitona Gray, 1821 (Mollusca: Polyplacophora) in the northeastern Pacific Ocean (Oregonian and Californian Provinces). Zool. Verh. (Leiden) 228: 3-52 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Pearse, J. S., D. J. Eernisse, V. B. Pearse, and K. A. Beauchamp. 1986. Photoperiodic regulation of gametogenesis in sea stars, with evidence for an annual calendar independent of fixed daylength. Amer. Zool. 26: 417-431 (pdf - Download Acrobat Reader)

Eernisse, D. J. 1984. Lepidochitona Gray, 1821 (Mollusca: Polyplacophora), from the Pacific Coast of the United States: Systematics and Reproduction. Ph.D. Dissertation. 358 pp. University of California, Santa Cruz.

J. S. Pearse and D. J. Eernisse. 1982. Photoperiodic regulation of gametogenesis and gonadal growth in the sea star Pisaster ochraceus. Mar. Biol. 67: 121-125 (pdf - (Download Acrobat Reader))

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