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Boyle, Michael J.

Former Biologist SMSFP

Michael Boyle earned a PhD in Zoology, with specialization in developmental biology from the University of Hawaii, followed by completion of two postdoctoral research fellowships with the Smithsonian Institution. His interests include molecular and morphological development of marine invertebrate life histories, particularly with sipunculan marine worms and other members of Spiralia. Specific research areas include investigating gene expression patterns involved in building animal body plans, transcriptomic analyses of early development, and comparative formation of cell types and organ systems in marine larval forms. Long-term studies are aimed at utilizing DNA barcoding and metabarcoding of marine zooplankton to assess connections between larval and adult invertebrates in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), and the possible sources and/or sinks of larval diversity between the IRL and the Gulf Stream (GS) flowing offshore along the southeast coast of Florida. Current projects include characterizing larval diversity in the Fort Pierce Inlet and the Florida Current of the GS with Smithsonian and other collaborators specializing in different taxonomic groups. Michael’s research applications also emphasize the use of compound and confocal laser scanning microscopy, and high-resolution imaging of marine invertebrate life history patterns.


Dr. Boyle is the principal investigator of the Life Histories Program, and manager of microscopy and molecular biology at the Smithsonian Marine Station.


Background And Education

Education And Training

Professional Biography

  • Michael J. Boyle earned a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2010. His specialization is developmental biology, with a focus on embryonic and larval origins of marine invertebrate body plans. Michael completed Postdoctoral Research Fellowships at the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, Florida, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute of Panama, where he studied early development of sipunculan marine worms, and diversity of planktonic larval forms within Pacific and Caribbean Ocean environments. Dr. Boyle is the manager of microscopy and molecular biology, and principal investigator of the Life Histories Program at the Smithsonian Marine Station.

Research And Grants


Selected Publications

Editor Of

  • Book

    • Boyle, Michael J. and Kawauchi, Gisele Y. , eds. 2018. Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on the Biology of the Sipuncula. Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press. 2018




Mailing Address

  • Smithsonian Marine Station
    701 Seaway Drive
    Fort Pierce, Florida 34949