2. CV

Benjamin M. Titus 

Gerstner’s Scholar & Lerner Gray Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Division of Invertebrate Zoology

The American Museum of Natural History

bentitus3@gmail.com

Google Scholar

Research Gate

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Education

Ph.D. Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology: The Ohio State University (2017).

M.Sc. Marine Biology: Auburn University, Auburn, AL (2011).

B.S. Ecology (with Distinction) Otterbein University, Westerville, OH (2008).

Professional Appointments

2018-present  Gerstner Scholar & Lerner Gray Postdoctoral Fellow, AMNH

2017                 University Presidential Fellow, The Ohio State University

2012-2016       Graduate Teaching Assistant, The Ohio State University

2015                 Graduate Research Associate, The Ohio State University

2013                 Research staff, Operation Wallacea

2011                 Coral aquaculture associate, Reef Systems Coral Farm, Inc.

2008-2011       Graduate Teaching Assistant, Auburn University

Publications

Undergraduate trainees of BT are underlined; *denotes shared first authorship

19) Rose, A*., Titus, B.M., Romain, J.J.*, Vondriska*, C.V. Exton, D.A., (In Review) Two for the price of one: single-client multi-cleaner species interactions on Caribbean coral reefs.

18) Romain, J.J., Exton, D.A., Smith, D.J., Rose, A.., Vondriska, C.V., Titus, B.M. (In Review) Fine-scale patterns of cleaning activity by Pederson’s cleaner shrimp, Ancylomenes pedersoni across ecologically disjunct reef habitats.

17) Titus, BM, Laroche, R*., Rodriguez, E., Wirshing, H., Meyer, C.P. (2020) Host identity and symbiotic association affects the taxonomic and functional diversity of the clownfish-hosting sea anemone microbiome. Biology Letters 16, 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0738

16) Titus, B.M., Blishak, P., Daly, M (2019). Genomic signatures of sympatric speciation with historical and contemporary gene flow in a tropical anthozoan (Anthozoa: Actiniaria). In Press at Molecular Ecology (Biorxiv preprint, 399360, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/399360)

(15) Titus, BM, Benedict, C., Laroche, R. Gusmao, LC, Van Deusen, V., Chiodo, T., Meyer, CP, Berumen, ML, Bartholomew, A., Yanagi, K., Reimer, JD, Fujii, T., Daly, M., Rodriguez, E. (2019) Phylogenetic relationships of the clownfish-hosting sea anemones. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution139, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2019.10652

(14) Titus, B.M, Daly, M., Vondriska, C., Hamilton, I., Exton D.A. (2019) Lack of strategic service provisioning by Pederson’s cleaner shrimp (Ancylomenes pedersoni) highlights independent evolution of cleaning behaviors between ocean basins. Scientific Reports. 9:629, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-37418-5

(13) O’Reilly, E.*, Titus, B.M.*, Nelsen, M.W., Ratchford, S., Chadwick, N.E. (2019) Giant ephemeral anemones? Rapid growth and high mortality in the corkscrew sea anemone Bartholomea annulata under a variety of conditions. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 509: 44-53.

(12) Titus, B.M., Daly, M. (2018) Reduced representation sequencing for symbiotic anthozoans: are reference genomes necessary to eliminate endosymbiont contamination and make robust phylogeographic inference? Biorxiv preprint, 440289, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/440289

(11) Titus, B.M., Daly, M, Hamilton, N., Beruman, M., Baeza, J.A. (2018) Global species delimitation and phylogeography of the circumtropical “sexy shrimp” Thor amboinensis reveals a cryptic species complex and secondary contact in the Indo-West Pacific. Journal of Biogeography 45, 1275-1287.

(10) Titus, B.M., Daly, M. (2017) Phylogeographic reconstruction reveals extensive cryptic diversity in a common symbiosis from the Tropical Western Atlantic. Reef Encounter 32: 20-24.

(9) Titus, B.M., Palombit, S., Daly, M. (2017) Endemic diversification in an isolated archipelago with few endemics: an example from a cleaner shrimp species complex in the Tropical Western Atlantic. Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society 122: 98-112. doi:10.1093/biolinnean/blx039

(8) Titus, B.M. Vondriska, C., Daly, M. (2017) Comparative behavioral observations demonstrate the spotted “cleaner” shrimp Periclimenes yucatanicus engages in true symbiotic cleaning interactions. Royal Society Open Science 4:170078

(7) Titus, B.M., Daly, M, Macrander, J., Del Rio, A., Santos, S.R., Chadwick, N.E. (2017) Contrasting abundance and contribution of clonal proliferation to the population structure of the corkscrew sea anemone Bartholomea annulata in the tropical Western Atlantic. Invertebrate Biology. 136: 62-74.

(6) Titus, B.M., Daly M.  (2017) Specialist and generalist symbionts show counterintuitive levels of genetic diversity and discordant demographic histories along the Florida Reef Tract. Coral Reefs. 36:339-354 doi:10.1007/s00388-016-1515-z

(5) Titus, B.M. Daly, M., Exton, D. (2015) Temporal patterns of reef fish cleaning behavior at anemone-shrimp cleaning stations on Caribbean coral reefs. Marine Biology. 162: 1651-1664.

(4) Titus, B.M. Daly, M., Exton, D. (2015) Do reef fish habituate to diver presence? Evidence from two reef sites with contrasting historical levels of SCUBA intensity in the Bay Islands, Honduras. PLOS ONE. 10(3): e0119645. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0119645.

(3) Titus, B.M., Daly, M. (2014) Fine-scale phylogeography reveals cryptic biodiversity in Pederson’s cleaner shrimp, Ancylomenes pedersoni (Crustacea: Caridea: Palaemonidae), along the Florida Reef Tract. Marine Ecology. Accepted 9/1/2014. doi: 10.1111/maec.12237

(2) Huebner, L.K., Dailey, B., Titus, B.M., Khalaf, M., Chadwick, N.E. (2012). Host preference and habitat segregation among Red Sea anemonefish: effects of sea anemone traits and fish life stages. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 464: 1-15. Feature cover article

(1) Lescinsky, H., Titus, B.M., Hubbard, D. (2012). Live coral cover in the fossil record: an example from Holocene reefs of the Dominican Republic. Coral Reefs. 31 (2): 335-346.

FUNDING ($1,200,000 in competitive awards)

FEDERAL & STATE GRANTS

2020-present   Lead PI, National Science Foundation, DEB-SBS, PURSUIT: Finding Nemo’s home: systematics and species delimitation of the clownfish-hosting sea anemones. (Co-PI: Estefania Rodriguez). DEB-1934274 [$740,000]

2016-2017       National Science Foundation, Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, DEB1601645. [$19,897]

2015-2017       Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission [$35,000]

FELLOWSHIPS

2020-               European Union Marie Sklodoska-Curie Individual Fellowship. ANEMONE: Evolving a home for Nemo: Genomic consequences and convergence in a model marine mutualism. Project in collaboration with Dr. Nicolas Salamin at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland [200,000].

2018-               Gerstner Scholar & Lerner Gray Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History (NY, USA) [$145,000]

2017                Presidential Fellowship, The Ohio State University [$27,312]

SMALL GRANTS & AWARDS

2017                Marine and Aquarium Society of North America, Graduate Fellowship [$4,000]

2016                Osburn Scholarship for Excellence in Research, The Ohio State University [$1,500]

2015                Lewis & Clark Field Exploration Grant, American Philosophical Society [$1,500]

2015                PADI Foundation Grant [$4688]

2015                International Society for Reef Studies, Graduate Fellowship [$2,500]

2015                Open Access Grant, The Ohio State University [$1,000]

2014                Tinker Field Research Grant, The Ohio State University [$1,500]

2013                Lerner Gray Fund for Marine Research, American Museum of Natural History [$2,000]

2013                Operation Wallacea (UK) PhD Research Fellowship [$5,000]

2012                SciFund Challenge [$800]

2010                PADI Foundation Grant [$4,170]

2010                Graduate Student Travel Award, Auburn University [$500]

2008                Student Research Fund, Otterbein University [$1,000]

2008                Dr. George H. Phinney Endowed Award for academic performance and research, Otterbein University [$500]

RECENT PRESENTATIONS (last 5 years)

INVITED SEMINARS

2020    Titus, B.M. Invited Seminar, University of Tampa, FL, USA

2020    Titus, B.M. Invited Seminar, Stetson University, FL, USA

2019    Titus, B.M. Invited Seminar, Fairfield University, CT, USA

2019    Titus, B.M. Invited Seminar, Fordham University, NY, USA

2019    Titus, B.M. Invited Speaker, Marine Aquarium Conference of North America, Orlando, FL, USA

2019    Titus, B.M. Invited Seminar, American Museum of Natural History, NY, USA

2018    Titus, B.M. Invited seminar. National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., USA

2013    Titus, B.M. Invited seminar Otterbein University, OH, USA2013    Titus, B.M. Invited seminar Operation Wallacea, Honduras

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

2019    Titus, B.M., Rodriguez, E. Molecular species delimitation of the clownfish hosting sea anemones: are there really only 10 host species? Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) Meeting, Tampa, FL.

2018    Titus, B.M., Daly, M. Gulf Stream formation drives allopatric speciation, secondary contact, and hybrid speciation in a cleaner shrimp species complex. Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB) Standalone Meeting, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

2016    Titus, B.M, Daly, M. Comparative phylogeograpy in a multi-level sea anemone symbiosis: effects of host specificity on patterns of co-diversification and genetic biodiversity. 13th International Coral Reef Symposium, Honolulu, HI, USA2015    Titus, B.M., Daly, M. Comparative phylogeograpy in a multi-level sea anemone symbiosis: effects of host specificity on patterns of co-diversification and genetic biodiversity. 44th Benthic Ecology Meeting, Quebec, Canada

POSTER PRESENTATIONS

2019    Benedict, C., Titus, B.M., Laroche. R., Gusmao, LC, Van Deusen, V., Chiodo, T., Meyer, CP, Berumen, ML, Bartholomew, A., Yanagi, K., Reimer, JD, Fujii, T., Daly, M., Rodriguez, E. Phylogenetic relationships among the clownfish hosting sea anemones. Evolution, Providence, RI

2019    Benedict, C., Titus, B.M., Laroche. R., Gusmao, LC, Van Deusen, V., Chiodo, T., Meyer, CP, Berumen, ML, Bartholomew, A., Yanagi, K., Reimer, JD, Fujii, T., Daly, M., Rodriguez, E. Phylogenetic relationships among the clownfish hosting sea anemones. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) Meeting, Tampa, FL. Poster presentation

2019    Laroche, R., Titus, B.M., Benedict C., Meyer, C., Rodriguez, E. Exploring the clownfish sea anemone microbiome across host and habitat. Society for 5 Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) Meeting, Tampa, FL. Poster presentation

2018    Titus, B.M., Daly, M. Reduced representation sequencing for symbiotic anthozoans: are reference genomes necessary to eliminate endosymbiont contamination and make robust phylogeographic inference? Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance Research Conference III (GIGAIII), Curacao, NetherlandsAntilles. Poster presentation

2018    Quattrini, A.M., Faircloth, B.C., Titus, B.M., Rodriguez, E., McFadden, C.S. Phylogenomics of class Anthozoa (Cnidaria) using universal target-enrichment baits. Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance Research Conference III (GIGAIII), Curacao, Netherlands-Antilles. Poster presentation

2018    Sheridan, N., Seyoum, S., Sharp, W., Titus, B.M., Daly, M., Schrey, A., Richards, C. Population genomics of a monitored sea anemone (Condylactis gigantea) in Florida, U.S. Population, Evolutionary, and Quantitative Genomics Conference, University of Wisconsin.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

American Academy of Underwater Science (AAUS) Scientific Research SCUBA diver (2018-present). 400+ logged scientific research dives

RESEARCH EXPEDITIONS (*planned and led)

2019    Utila, Honduras

2019    Moorea, French Polynesia*

2018    Faresmaathoda, Huvadhu Atoll, Republic of the Maldives*

2018    Gulf of Oman, United Arab Emirates*

2017    San Salvador, Bahamas*

2016    Flower Garden Banks, Gulf of Mexico, Texas, USA*

2015    Eleuthera, Bahamas*

2015    Bocas del Toro, Panama*

2015    Barbados*

2015    Curacao, Netherlands Antilles*

2014    Bermuda*

2014    Cuba*

2014    Mahahual, Mexico*

2014    St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands*

2013    Bay Islands, Honduras*

2013    Florida Keys, USA*

2012    Florida Keys, USA*

2010    Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba, Jordan

2010    St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands*

2009    St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

2009    Belize

2008    St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

2007    Enriquillo Valley, Dominican Republic

2006    Belize

OUTREACH

2019             Millstein Ocean Science Series: Ocean Parenting, American Museum of Natural History

2019             Millstein Ocean Science Series: Layers of the Ocean, American Museum of Natural History

2019             Meet the Scientist, Discovery Room, American Museum of Natural History

2013-2017    Volunteer, Museum of Biological Diversity Open House, The Ohio State University 

2011             Reef Systems Coral Farm outreach, Boy Scouts of America

2009             Co-leader, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration SeaGrant Outreach, US Virgin Islands

2009             Co-author National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration SeaGrant Activity Book

2008             Co-leader, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration SeaGrant Outreach, US Virgin Islands

SERVICE

PEER REVIEWS

Molecular Ecology, Molecular Ecology Resources, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, BMC Evolutionary Biology, Biology Letters, Heredity, Coral Reefs, Marine Biology, Contributions to Zoology, European Journal of Taxonomy, Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, Regional Studies in Marine Science, Biological Bulletin, PeerJ, Marine Environmental Research, Marine Biology Research, Journal of Crustacean Biology.

GRANT REVIEWER

National Science Foundation- Biological Oceanography (BIO-OCE)

UNDERGRADUATE MENTORSHIP ($ Funding received; fieldwork locale)

2018-present  Charlotte Benedict, Auburn Univ. Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), National Science Foundation, The American Museum of Natural History. Project: Phylogenetic relationships among the clownfish hosting sea anemones.

2018-present  Robert Laroche, Univ. of Houston. Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), National Science Foundation, The American Museum of Natural History. Project: Phylogenetic relationships among the clownfish hosting sea anemones.

2018-present  Amy Swift (Utila, Honduras) Oxford University, UK. Project: Does coral reef structural complexity impact reef fish visitation to cleaner shrimp cleaning stations?

2018-present  Emily Bremer (Utila, Honduras) Univ. Southampton, UK. Project: Does coral reef structural complexity impact reef fish visitation to cleaner shrimp cleaning stations?

2018-present  Chloe Boyd (Utila, Honduras) Univ. Sussex, UK Project: Does client reef fish home range size explain variation in visitation rates at cleaner shrimp cleaning stations?

2016-present  Joe Romain, (Tela & Utila, Honduras) *MSc student Univ Essex, UK. Project: Fine-scale patterns of cleaning activity by Pederson’s cleaner shrimp, Ancylomenes pedersoni across ecologically disjunct reef habitats.

2016-present  Amelia Rose (Tela & Utila, Honduras) Oxford University, UK. Project: Client body size drives simultaneaous cleaning interactions between cleaner shrimp and cleaner gobies on a Caribbean coral reef

2015-2016       Spencer Palombit ($2,000; Eleuthera, Bahamas) The Ohio State Univ. Project: Endemic diversification in an isolated archipelago with few endemics: an example from a cleaner shrimp species complex in the Tropical Western Atlantic.

2014-2016       Clayton Vondriska ($5,000; Barbados & Curacao). Project: Independent evolution of strategic cleaning behaviors in ecologically analogous cleaner shrimp. *Current MSc student Arkansas State University

2014-2016       Natalie Hamilton ($1000). Project: Global species delimitation and phylogeography of the circumtropical “sexy shrimp” Thor amboinensis reveals a cryptic species complex and secondary contact in the Indo-West Pacific. *Current MSc student The Ohio State University

2014                Anna Klompen. Lab research assistant. *Current PhD student University of Kansas.

2014-2015       Eric Witt ($1500; Bermuda) Otterbein Univ. Project: Endemic diversification in an isolated archipelago with few endemics: an example from a cleaner shrimp species complex in the Tropical Western Atlantic

2013-2015       Annelise del Rio. Project: Contrasting abundance and contribution of clonal proliferation to the population structure of the corkscrew sea anemone Bartholomea annulata in the tropical Western Atlantic *Current PhD student University of California-Davis

2013                Joseph Weethee, The Ohio State University. Lab research assistant

TEACHING EXPERIENCE & TRAINING

COURSES TAUGHT

2018-2019     First Year Graduate Student Seminar Series, Richard Guilder Graduate School, American Museum of Natural History. (2018-2019)

2016               Organismal Biology (Lab) The Ohio State University

2014               Integrative Biology (recitation) The Ohio State University

2014-2015     Human Anatomy (Lab) The Ohio State University

2013-2016     Evolution (recitation) The Ohio State University

2012-2013     Biology for non-majors (Lab) The Ohio State University

2010               Ecology (Lab) Auburn University

2009-2011     Organismal Biology (Lab) Auburn University

2008               Principles of Biology (Lab) Auburn University

CLASSROOM PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

2014                Teaching College Biology (BIOL 6001)- Center for Life Science Education, Ohio State Univ. *3 credit hr course for pedagogical training, scholarship of teaching & learning (SoTL), assessment,

2012-2016       Professional development seminar (BIOL 5001)- Center for Life Science Education, Ohio State Univ. 1 credit hr seminar

2012                University Center for the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT), GTA training- Ohio State University

2009                Fundamentals of Teaching Biology 7010- Auburn University. 1 credit hr seminar

2009                Professional Aspects of Biology 7540- Auburn University. 1 credit hr seminar

2007                Study of the School-Introduction to Education- Otterbein University. 4 credit hr course

First Year Graduate Student Seminar Series, Richard Guilder Graduate School, American Museum of Natural History. (2018-2019)

Organismal Biology (2016) The Ohio State University

Integrative Biology (2014) The Ohio State University

Human Anatomy (2014-2015) The Ohio State University

Evolution (2013-2016) The Ohio State University

Biology for non-majors (2012-2013) The Ohio State University

Ecology (2010) Auburn University

Organismal Biology (2009-2011)- Auburn University

Principles of Biology (2008) Auburn University

CLASSROOM PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

2014                Teaching College Biology (BIOL 6001)- Center for Life Science Education,

Ohio State Univ. *3 credit hr course for pedagogical training, scholarship

of teaching & learning (SoTL), assessment,

2012-2016       Professional development seminar (BIOL 5001)- Center for Life Science Education, Ohio State Univ. 1 credit hr seminar

2012                University Center for the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT), GTA training- Ohio State University

2009                Fundamentals of Teaching Biology 7010- Auburn University. 1 credit hr seminar

2009                Professional Aspects of Biology 7540- Auburn University. 1 credit hr seminar

2007                Study of the School-Introduction to Education- Otterbein University. 4 credit hr course

Collaborators

Estefania Rodriguez          American Museum of Natural History

Meg Daly                           The Ohio State University

Nanette Chadwick             Auburn University

Dan A. Exton                     Operation Wallacea, United Kingdom

Antonio Baeza                   Clemson University

Michael Berumen              King Abdullah Univ. of Science & Technology, Saudi Arabia

Chris Meyer                         National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian

Bryan Carstens                  The Ohio State University

James Reimer                    University of the Ryukyus-Japan

Kensuke Yanagi                 Natural History Museum-Chiba, Japan

Anna Scott                         Southern Cross University- Australia

Scott Santos                      Auburn University

Stephen Ratchford            University of the Virgin Islands

Nuno Simoes                     Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Jorge Angulo                     University of Havana, Cuba

Jessy Castellanos Gell      University of Havana, Cuba

Todd Melman                    Reef Systems Coral Farm Inc.

Marouf Khalaf                   The University of Jordan-Aqaba

Nancy Sheridan                 Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

Halard Lescinsky               Otterbein University