The Valdés' Lab research focuses on the systematics and biogeography of "opisthobranch" mollusks (heterobranch sea slugs). Heterobranch sea slugs constitute a diverse paraphyletic assemblage of almost exclusively marine, hermaphroditic organisms. Sea slugs display remarkable adaptations to different environmental conditions in the ocean. About 6,000 species are known worldwide but new species are constantly been discovered and named. A particularly rich source of new species is the deep sea, which remains largely unexplored.

The main lines of research in the lab currently include: 1) the discovery and documentation of cryptic and unknow diversity, 2) the study of evolutionary relationships among major groups of sea slugs, 3) the documentation of invasive species of sea slugs, their vectors and sources, 4) the study of biogeographic patterns of sea slugs in the North Pacific and beyond.


Lab location: Building 4 Room: 2-405 Phone: (909) 869-3005