Gary C. B. Poore

Curator Emeritus, Marine Biology

Gary C. B. Poore (and obtain description)
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Gary investigates the diversity of marine crustaceans and promotes the importance of taxonomic understanding in ecology, biogeography and management.


Gary started his research career investigating the biology of abalone but his first employment was as an ecologist investigating benthic macrofaunal communities in Port Phillip Bay near Melbourne. When he discovered that most of the fauna was unknown, his interest in taxonomy grew.

Since joining Museum Victoria as Curator of Crustacea in 1979 he has concentrated on the systematics of several crustacean taxa and related that to environmental issues in all marine realms. Gary retired from Museum Victoria in 2009 but is still actively involved in research and international collaborations.

Gary is the author of Marine decapod Crustacea of southern Australia A guide to identification (CSIRO Publishing, 2004) and co-editor of The biology of squat lobsters (CSIRO Publishing, 2011). Both were awarded Whitley Book Awards by the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales.

Gary received The Crustacean Society Excellence in Research Award in 2010 and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Museums Australia (Victorian Branch) in 2006. 

Gary has served and continues to serve on international committees where he promotes liaison between taxonomists and other marine scientists. He maintains collaborations with fellow crustacean workers from several countries and participates in international research expeditions.

Current activities

Coordinator of the international squat lobster collaboration

The project has run international workshops supported by the Census of Marine Life, compiled interactive keys to the species of squat lobsters (Galatheoidea and Chirostyloidea), maintains a bibliography on these taxa at the 'Assembling the Tree of Life: Decapoda' website, publishes new taxa and phylogenies, has published the book The biology of squat lobsters in 2011, and is now collaborating as part of the COSMOS project Mapping the world’s oceans.

Guides to the families and genera of the world’s marine Isopoda and species from Australia

The project synthesises information from many sources to enable marine biologists to identify to genus (or to species in Australia) the known taxa of marine Isopoda. DELTA software is being used to compile data and to generate interactive keys and diagnoses.

Families and genera of the world’s ghost shrimps and mud lobsters (Decapoda: Thalassinidea)

Species lists of accepted names published on the World Register of Marine species (WoRMS), a bibliography of over 2000 titles on these taxa at the 'Assembling the Tree of Life: Decapoda' website, and keys to all families and genera are part of this research. The research will also reappraise the systematics of the group on the basis of a cladistic analysis. The project has been supported in part by a NSF grant to the 'Assembling the Tree of Life' on Decapoda project.

Museum Victoria guides to marine life

Gary has contributed three titles for publication in this series: Crabs, Hermit Crabs and Allies (2008), Barnacles (2009), Shrimps, Prawns and Lobsters (in press).

Systematics of Anthuroidea and Valvifera (Isopoda)

A checklist of all the world’s species in these taxa is maintained on the World Register of Marine species (WoRMS) []. Valviferan isopods are a species-rich group in the cooler waters of southern Australia and in deeper water throughout the globe. Descriptions of numerous new species from Australia and elsewhere depend on redefinition of genera world-wide. Gary continues to publish descriptions of new species and higher level revisions.

Diversity, species composition and biogeography of marine benthic communities

Gary has published on the composition of invertebrate communities in sedimentary environments on the bays, estuaries, shelf and deep-sea of southern Australia. Until 2009 he collaborated with CSIRO Marine Laboratories, as part of the NERP Marine Biodiversity Hub, in an investigation of the biogeography of the Western Australian continental margin. He has identified numerous species of decapod crustaceans with an aim to discover distribution patterns in this taxon, and will compare this with patterns shown by peracarid crustaceans from the same environments. 

Last updated 20 February 2013