Turner, Richard

Associate Professor
Biological Sciences

Educational Background

B.A., Zoology University of Maine 1969
M.S., Zoology University of Maine 1971
Ph.D., Biology University of South Florida 1977

Current Courses

BIO-3701 Evolution

BIO-4641 Biology of Marine Mammals

BIO-4710 Marine Biology

BIO-5005 Comparative Biology of Invertebrates

BIO-5060 Biology and Ecology of Seagrasses

BIO-5065 Natural History of the Indian River Lagoon

Professional Experience

Dr. Turner joined the faculty of Florida Tech in 1976. His postdoctoral studies were done at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution (1982-1983) during a sabbatical year. He has served as president of the Florida Academy of Sciences for two terms (1985-1986, 2009-2011) and as a member of the national nominating committee of Sigma Xi (1988-1991). Since 1994, he has been business manager of Florida Scientist, the journal of the Florida Academy of Sciences. Turner organized the Fifth North American Echinoderm Conference in 2008. Of his 43 publications, 38 appear in refereed journals and books, and he is coauthor of the textbook Introduction to Marine Biology, now in its fourth edition.

Additional Duties

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Biological Sciences

Current Research

Current research projects include:

Echinoderms of the Western Atlantic: distributions of echinoderms on the continental shelf and slope of the Atlantic coast of Florida; systematic revisions of echinoderm groups and of species descriptions that are new to science; low endemism and strong Caribbean affinity of the echinoderm fauna in the Gulf of Mexico in terms of the impact of the Wisconsin Glaciation and post-glacial climate on salinity, temperature, currents, and sea level in the Gulf of Mexico.

Morphology of Echinoderms: form and function of echinoderm pedicellariae; morphology of ciliary urns of sea cucumbers.

General Biology of the Florida Applesnail: The effects of hydrology on population dynamics of the snail; physiology of the embryos, which develop encapsulated in clusters of calcareous shells on stems of emergent plants above the water's surface; water balance, UV protection, and ultrastructure of the eggshell.

Taphonomy of the Ghost Crab: Fossilization of ghost crabs (Ocypode quadrata) that live on the high-energy sand beaches of Brevard County; the appearance of fossil crabs on the beach terrace after erosive storm events between Patrick Air Force Base and Melbourne Beach.

Selected Publications

Karleskint Jr., G., R.L. Turner and J.W. Small. 2010 [2009]. Introduction to Marine Biology, 3rd ed., Brooks/Cole--Cengage Learning, Belmont, CA. 581 pp.

Turner, R.L. and J.M. Boucher. 2010. Loss of arm spines in the basketstar Astrophyton muricatum (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea: Gorgonocephalidae), with a key to West Indian basketstars. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 123: 1726.

Rhodes-Ondi, S.E. and R.L. Turner. 2010. Salinity tolerance and osmotic response of the estuarine hermit crab Pagurus maclaughlinae in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida. Estuarine, Coastal, and Shelf Science 86: 189196.

Connelly, P.E. and R.L. Turner. 2009. Epibionts of the eastern surf chiton, Ceratozona squalida (Polyplacophora: Mopaliidae), from the Atlantic coast of Florida. Bulletin of Marine Science 85: 187202.

Turner, R.L. 2007. Effects of long-term exposure to low salinity on the brackish-water amphiurid brittlestar Ophiophragmus fiilograneus (Lyman, 1875) from the Indian River Lagoon System, Florida. Florida Scientist 70: 464-475.

Turner, R.L. and P.M. Mikkelsen. 2004. Annotated bibliography of the Florida Applesnail, Pomacea paludosa (Say) (Gastropoda: Ampullariidae), from 18241999. Nemouria 48: 1187.

Turner, R.L. and B.D. Graham. 2003. Calocidaris micans (Cidaridae) and Pseudoboletia maculate (Toxopneustidae): additions to the sea urchin fauna (Echinodermata:Echinoidea) of the Gulf of Mexico. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 116: 6181.

Portell, R.W., R.L. Turner and J.L. Beerensson. 2003. Occurrence and significance of the Atlantic ghost crab Ocypode quadrata from the upper Pleistocene to Holocene Anastasia formation of Florida. Journal of Crustacean Biology 23: 712722.

Turner, R.L. 1998. Effects of submergence on embryonic survival and developmental rate of the Florida applesnail, Pomacea paludosa: implications for egg predation and marsh management. Florida Scientist 61: 118129.

Taylor, D.S. and R.L. Turner. 1998. Notes on mosquito collections from Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras, Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 14: 214215.