World register of marine species

Lernaeolophus sultanus, a parasitic copepod removed from its host

Principal Investigator

Prof Geoff Boxshall

Project summary

  • Focus: Contributing to a global inventory of marine species

We are contributing to the largest record of marine species in the world, informing everything from industry to Wikipedia listings.

The World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) lists all known species of marine organisms and is an essential resource for researchers looking at patterns of marine biodiversity on a global scale.

The online database links the correct scientific names of marine species with information ranging from distribution and genetic data to reference collections, such as the collections at the Natural History Museum.

It is widely used for finding valid names of marine organisms by everyone from Wikipedia contributors to the Joint Nature Conservancy Council in the UK.

Museum copepod researcher Geoff Boxshall has been the chair of the steering committee for WoRMS since June 2013 and is the co-editor of the Crustacea section of the website.

Museum staff

Prof Geoff Boxshall

Related links

Biodiversity research

We are creating molecular and digital tools to explore undiscovered biodiversity

Invertebrate research

Our scientists are investigating the taxonomy, systematics and biodiversity of groups of invertebrates

Zoology collections

Our zoology collection has 29 million animal specimens and is rich in voucher, type and historical specimens