Joanne Taylor

Senior Collection Manager, Marine Invertebrates

Joanne Taylor
Joanne Taylor in the collection store.
Source: Museum Victoria

Dr Joanne Taylor has worked on marine crustaceans at Museum Victoria since 1994.


Joanne commenced her career in Marine Science as a Re­search Assistant in the “Crustacea” Department at Museum Victoria in 1994. She completed a PhD in 2003 under the supervision of Dr Gary Poore (Museum Victoria) and Prof. David Macmil­lan (University of Melbourne) focused on the taxonomy of the amphipod family Phoxocephalidae. As Collection Manager of the Marine Invertebrates Department at MV (2001-2012), and more recently as Senior Collection Manager (2013-present), Jo has conducted research on the crustacean fauna of Australia whilst managing the vast Marine Invertebrates collection. Over this period she has supported the research activities of a wide network of local and international colleagues through the provision of specimens and data for loan and exchange. Throughout her career, Jo has been an enthusiastic supporter of the drive to present taxonomic information to a wide audience and is an active part of the team at MV preparing data and information for the Collections Online project.

Since 2009, Jo has ventured into the wonderful world of squat lobsters. In the role of Comarge Research Fellow (2009-2011), she teamed up with international colleagues to co-edit the award winning book The Biology of Squat Lobsters, whilst also publishing taxonomic papers and producing interactive delta keys to species. She has an ongoing interest in the phylogeny of the family Munidopsidae and is currently working with colleagues to resolve the classification of this fascinating group.

In 2011, Jo received a Smithsonian-funded Rubenstein Fellowship to publish species pages and images for squat lobsters on the Encylopedia of Life, one of the world's largest aggregators of biodiversity information. Jo has very much enjoyed representing the Indo-Pacific region as governor of The Crustacean Society for the past four years. 

Current activities

Squat Lobsters Research

Squat lobsters of the superfamilies Chirostyloidea and Galatheoidea are highly visible crustaceans on seamounts, continental margins, shelf environments, hydrothermal vents and coral reefs. About 1000 species are known. They frequently feature in deep-sea images taken by submersibles and are caught in large numbers by benthic dredges. Some species are so locally abundant that they form 'red tides'. Others support a variety of important fisheries. The 2011 publication of the bookThe Biology of Squat Lobsters of which Jo was a co-editor was a timely synthesis of what is known about these animals.

The taxonomy of squat lobsters has been intensively studied over the past few decades, making them one of the best known deepwater crustacean groups. In collaboration with colleagues at the Australian Museum and Australian Institute of Marine Science, Jo continues to study the phylogeny of this group, research which was originally funded by COMARGE and partly supported since by the Australian Museum's Geddes Visiting Research Fellowship and Smithsonian Rubenstein Fellowship.