Biology graduate student Meredith Doellman and faculty researchers from Northeastern’s Marine Science Center in Nahant, Mass., have discovered that a specific species of snail has a much more complex evolutionary history than previously thought.

Doellman worked with biology professors Geoff Trussell and Steve Vollmer and discovered that a marine periwinkle snail species, Littorina saxatillis, has defied simple textbook classifications of speciation — that is, the formation of new and distinct species in the course of evolution — by combining two types of speciation, an evolutionary strategy not seen before.

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