Ctenopalooza was held on March 14 & 15, 2016 at The Whitney Laboratory in St. Augustine, FL.

The next Ctenopalooza is being planned for March, 2026. Location TBD. Mark your calendars!!!

A peer-reviewed meeting report was published in the journal EvoDevo.

Final ScheduleFinal Program w/abstractsvideos of talks

About Ctenopalooza


The study of ctenophores (comb-jellies) has for many decades been limited to a handful of researchers using coastal ctenophores at marine stations. Recent biogeographic and evolutionary findings as well as genomic resources and access to deep water have brought a great deal of attention to these animals, and resulted in revived research activity. The purpose of this international ctenophore workshop is to bring together the burgeoning community of ctenophore biologists, foster cross-disciplinary collaborations, discuss improvements and expansion of community resources, and share expertise relating to field, experimental, and culture techniques. The recent influx of interest in these fascinating and important animals presents an opportunity to explore future directions and address some of the challenges for expansion of ctenophore research. Discussions between researchers from a wide range of disciplines promise to lead to novel ideas and methods to increase our understanding of ctenophore biology. A major focus of the workshop is to facilitate interaction between junior researchers and experienced workers, to initiate long-term cross-disciplinary collaborations, as well as to identify interesting new avenues of research and diverse approaches to new and existing questions.


Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, 9505 Ocean Shore Blvd, St. Augustine, FL



08:00 am     Registration & Breakfast
09:00 am Fossils, Diversity, Phylogeny Stanley, Madin, Haddock, Mills
10:30 am Break
10:50 am Nerve and Muscle Cells Hernandez-Nicaise, Jegla, Simmons
12:00 pm Lunch (provided)
2:00 pm Ecology, Behavior, Taxonomy     Sardet, Javidpour, Sasson, Bading, Oliveira
3:40 pm Break
4:00 pm Poster Session 1
5:00 pm Poster Session 2



09:00 am     Metagenomics, Slime Mariita, Breitbart, Townsend
10:00 am Break
10:40 am Genes, Cells, Development     Presnell, McCann, Browne, Vandepas
12:00 pm Lunch (provided)
2:00 pm Evolutionary Genomics Whelan, Schnitzler, Kohn
3:00 pm Group Photo/Break
4:00 pm Benthic Ctenophores Glynn, Matsumoto, Paulay
5:00 pm Keynote 2 Dunn
6:00 pm Drinks & Banquet


Poster board dimensions: 60″ wide x 46″ tall

Restaurants and Attractions in St Augustine

Joseph Ryan (Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience)
Christine Schnitzler (National Human Genome Research Institute)
Sidney Tamm (Marine Biological Laboratory)


Some of our speakers

Daniel Sasson

Whitney Laboratory

Mari-Luz Hernandez-Nicaise

Univ. de Nice-Sophia

Mya Breitbart

Univ. of South Florida

Larry Madin


Special Accommodations

If you need any special accommodations, please let us know (ctenopalooza@whitney.ufl.edu).

Food. We will make sure that there are vegetarian options for all meals and snacks. If you have other food requirements, please let us know.

Sign language interpreting services available upon request. Attendees in need of sign language interpreting services should contact ctenopalooza@whitney.ufl.edu. We will help identify an affordable certified ASL interpreter in the area if needed.

Lactation accommodation: A private room convenient to the conference area will be made available to any breastfeeding mothers. Please contact ctenopalooza@whitney.ufl.edu if you plan on using the room.

Child care and other types of family care accommodations: Attendees in need of child care accommodations should contact ctenopalooza@whitney.ufl.edu. We will assist in arranging resources for child care and other types of family care at the workshop. We will help identify affordable, convenient, and safe childcare (or other family-care) options and provide onsite facilities if necessary.

Things to do in St Augustine

  1. Ripple effects Eco-Tours guided kayak tours, fishing, boating, etc.
  2. Castillo de San Marcos
  3. Oldest masonry fort in the United States

  4. Tour Flagler College former luxury Hotel Ponce de Leon, National Historic Landmark. Built in 1888, Massive collection of Tiffany Stained Glass windows
  5. St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum Florida’s first lighthouse built in 1824. 165 feet above sea level and contains 219 steps that can be climbed by visitors
  6. St. Augustine Alligator Farmall known species of extant crocodilians (23 species), venomous snakes and more
  7. River to Sea Preserve Beaches, Bicycling, Birding, Camping
  8. Washington Oaks Gardens State Park 20 acres of formal gardens between the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas River
  9. Historic downtown oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement in the continental United States


  1. Purple Olive (11.2 miles from Whitney Lab)   (2.7 miles from conference hotel)
  2. Ice Plant (18.7 miles from Whitney Lab)   (5.1 miles from conference hotel)
  3. Tasting Room (17.5 miles from Whitney Lab)   (4.8 miles from conference hotel)
  4. Gas Full Service Restaurant (16.9 miles from Whitney Lab)   (4.2 miles from conference hotel)
  5. Hoptinger Bier Garden & Sausage House (16.6 miles from Whitney Lab)   (3.8 miles from conference hotel)

Coffee Shop near hotel

  1. Cafe Eleven (0.2 miles from conference hotel)

Near Whitney Lab

  1. South Beach Grill (7.2 miles from Whitney Lab)
  2. JT’s Seafood Shack (5.5 miles from Whitney Lab)
  3. Viola’s Pizza, Pasta and Seafood (8.2 miles from Whitney Lab)

Latest news

Messages from Organizers