photo of Kristian Taylor

Connect with
Kristian Taylor

locationPolk Science - room 129
Phone 863.680.5088

Related News

Kristian Taylor, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Marine Biology

In every class I teach I strive to show students that science is more than what is found in their textbooks. To do this I incorporate media, I encourage students to bring in examples of what we are covering in class, and I do my best to take students into the field whenever possible. Hands-on learning will always trump reading from a textbook so field experience is something I encourage for all of my students.”

I grew up in New York but spent my summers on the West coast of Florida exploring the beaches and mangrove shorelines. From these experiences I became fascinated by the marine environment and decided to pursue this field in academia.

I graduated from the University of Miami with a dual B.S. in marine science and biology in 2006. I then attended Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center where I completed a dual M.S. in marine biology and coastal zone management studying the geophysics of Florida Bay. During this time I worked for the department of geology at University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science helping to map patch reefs throughout the southern Bahamas. Following the completion of my Masters Degree I decided to stay at Nova Southeastern University to pursue a PhD in marine biology, conducting research on marine invertebrate taxonomy and phylogenetics.

I bring a unique passion for marine science to Florida Southern College. I am always available to chat with students regarding new discoveries in the field, research ideas they might have and theories regarding marine conservation. I am very excited to be here to help build the marine biology program.


  • Ph.D. in Marine Biology, with a concentration on invertebrate phylogenetics and taxonomy, NSUOC
  • Dual Master’s Degree in Marine Biology and Coastal Zone Management, with a concentration on the geophysics of Florida Bay, NSUOC
  • Dual Bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and Biology with a minor in Chemistry, University of Miami

Funding Sources

  • Florida Southern College Faculty-Student Collaboration Grant, “The Impact of Claw Removal on Stone Crab (Menippe mercenaria) Intraspecies Aggression and Territoriality”, 2019
  • Florida Southern College Faculty-Student Collaboration Grant, “Telson Photoreceptor Acuity in the Atlantic Horseshoe Crab”, 2018
  • Tampa Bay Estuary Project, “Fostering Ecosystem Awareness by Examining Macroinvertebrate Community Structure in Tampa Bay, FL”, 2016
  • Council on Undergraduate Research, “From Marine to Macro: Authentic Marine Research Across the Curriculum”, 2016
  • Tampa Bay Water, “Fostering Source Water Stewardship using Peer-to-Peer Instruction”, 2016
  • NSU President’s Research and Development, “When Physical Form and DNA Collide: Resolving the Evolutionary Tree of Crinoidea”, 2014
  • PADI Foundation, “Examining the Dynamic Nature of Mud Banks in Florida Bay, FL”, 2009

Honors and Awards

  • Best presentation, 15th International Echinoderm Conference, 2015
  • Student Travel Award, North American Echinoderm Conference, 2014

Current Projects

  • Photoreceptor acuity in the telson of the Atlantic horseshoe crab.
  • Intraspecific territoriality and aggression in the Florida stone crab following claw loss.
  • Quantifying arm strength and arm dominance in sea stars.
  • Bacterial assemblages associated with mangrove root systems.


  • Global Invertebrate Genomic Alliance
  • Florida Association of Benthologists
  • Council on Undergraduate Research

Travel with Students

  • Alaska, 2018
  • U.S. and British Virgin Islands, 2017 and 2018
  • Costa Rica, 2016


Publications and Exhibitions

Peer-Reviewed Journals

Taylor, K., Messing, C. and Rouse, G. (2017). Systematics of Himerometra (Echinodermata: Crinoidea: Himerometridae) based on morphology and molecular data. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. zlx009,

Taylor, K. and C. Messing (2017). Generic revisions within the Family Mariametridea (Echinodermata: Crinoidea) with revised genus and species descriptions. Systematics and Biodiversity.

Taylor, K., C. Messing and G. Rouse. Phylogenic revision of superfamily Himerometriodea (Echinodermata: Crinoidea) with revised genera placements. (In review)

Taylor, K. and S. Purkis (2012). Evidence for the southward migration of mud banks in Florida Bay. Marine Geology, 311-314: 52-56.


Taylor, K. “Muck Diving in Florida”. Underwater Photography Magazine. May/June 2010 UwP54:64-66.

Taylor, K. “Parting Shot”. Underwater Photography Magazine. Sept/Oct 2011 UwP62:68-69.


"From Micro to Macro: Authentic Marine Research Across the Curriculum”; Council on Undergraduate Research Conference, 2016

"A Phylogenetic Revision on Multiple Taxonomic Levels within Superfamily Himerometroidea (Crinoidea)”; International Echinoderm Conference, 2015

"The Struggle to Accurately delineate Novel and Nominal Species”; Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center, 2014

"Generic Revisions within Family Mariametridae (Crinoidea)”; North American Echinoderm Conference, 2014

"Changes in the Geomorphology of Florida Bay over the Last Century”; Geotopics Seminar Series, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, 2009