Anthopleura sola (sunburst anemone)
is a large, solitary anemone whose geographic range extends from Baja California to Central California, and is abundant in the intertidal zone. They feed and gain energy in two ways: through predation on intertidal invertebrates and by forming symbiotic partnerships with zooxanthellae (Breviolum muscatinei), similar to corals.
This species is currently expanding its geographic range northward towards Oregon, which makes it an excellent system for using genetic techniques to characterize how marine populations shift their geographic ranges.
Additionally, we will be able to ask how populations of A. sola evolve to match novel symbiont populations that historically have not interacted with this particular species in those geographic locations.