We research the unusual colonial life of bryozoans, their involvement in fish disease, and the impact of climate change on them.

Bryozoans grow as colonies that spread across surfaces in both freshwater and marine habitats.

Their unique life cycle promotes the development of parasites, which then infect other hosts, such as wild and farmed salmon and trout populations.

Bryozoans can also be used as indicators of environmental change, from ocean temperature and acidification to the impact of eutrophication (nutrient overload) on freshwater systems.

Our research on bryozoans includes:

Professor Beth Okamura
Prof Beth Okamura

Merit Researcher in the Bryozoa Group, focusing on the ecology and evolution of bryozoans and their myxozoan parasites.

Mary Spencer Jones
Miss Mary Spencer Jones

Senior Curator (Bryozoa) on the Invertebrates Curation Team. Research focuses on the history and biodiversity of marine bryozoans and the preservation, maintenance and conservation of invertebrate collections.


All genera of Bryozoa except one are colonial. Bryozoan colonies are made up of individual animals called zooids that are genetically identical and physiologically connected. They are largely stationary, although some colonies can creep slowly on muscular feet or by using highly-modified spiny zooids as legs!

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