University of Oregon

Svetlana Maslakova

Assistant Professor


Mail:   OIMB, P.O. Box 5389,
Charleston OR, 97420
Phone:   (541) 888-2581 x 362
Fax:   (541) 888-3250

Graduate Students

Marie Hunt (MS)

Laurel Hiebert (PhD)
Terra Hiebert (PhD)

April Bird, MS 2012


BI 457/557 Molecular Marine Biology (Fall)
BI 457/557 Comparative Embryology and Larval Biology (Spring)

See Embryology Course website populated with short articles about reproduction and development of marine invertebrates, written and illustrated by the students!

Selected Publications

2013 G. von Dassow, R. Emlet and S. A. Maslakova. How the pilidium larva feeds. Frontiers in Zoology. 10:47. Open Access

2013 T. C. Hiebert, G. von Dassow, L.S. Hiebert and S. A. Maslakova. The peculiar nemertean larva pilidium recurvatum belongs to Riserius sp., a basal heteronemertean that eats Carcinonemertes errans, a hoplonemertean parasite of Dungeness crab. Invertebrate Biology. 132(3): 207-225.

2012 S.A. Maslakova and G. von Dassow. A lecithotrophic pilidium with apparent prototroch and telotroch. J Exp Zool (Mol Dev Evol). 9999B: 1-5.

2011 Chernyshev A. V. and Maslakova S. A. Nemertea. In: Illustrated Keys to Free-Living Invertebrates of Eurasian Arctic Seas and Adjacent Deep Waters, Vol. 2. Nemertea, Cephalorhyncha, Oligochaeta, Hirudinida, Pogonophora,Echiura, Sipuncula, Phoronida, and Brachiopoda. Sirenko, B.I., ed. Alaska Sea Grant, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks. Pp. 3-34.

2010 S. A. Maslakova. Development to metamorphosis of the nemertean pilidium larva. Frontiers in Zoology. 7:30. Open Access

2010 H. Chen, M. Strand, J. L. Norenburg, S. Sun, H. Kajihara, A. V. Chernyshev, S. A. Maslakova, P. Sundberg. Statistical parsimony networks and species assemblages in cephalotrichid nemerteans (Nemertea). PLoS ONE. 5(9): e12885. Open Access

2010 S.A. Maslakova. The invention of the pilidium larva in an otherwise perfectly good spiralian phylum Nemertea. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 50: 734-743.

2010 L. S. Hiebert, G. S. Gavelis, G. von Dassow and S. A. Maslakova. Five invaginations and shedding of the larval epidermis during development of the hoplonemertean Pantinonemertes californiensis. Journal of Natural History. 44: 2331 – 2347.

2009 Maslakova S. A. & von Döhren J. D. Larval development with transitory epidermis in Paranemertes peregrina and other hoplonemerteans. Biol. Bull. 216: 273–292.

2008 Maslakova S. A. & Norenburg J.L. Revision of the smiling worms, genus Prosorhochmus Keferstein 1862, and description of a new species, Prosorhochmus belizeanus sp. nov. (Prosorhochmidae, Hoplonemertea, Nemertea) from Florida and Belize. J.Nat. Hist. 42: 1219-1260.

2008 Maslakova S. A. & Norenburg J.L. Revision of the smiling worms, genera Prosadenoporus Bürger, 1890 and Pantinonemertes Moore and Gibson, 1981 and description of a new species Prosadenoporus floridensis sp. nov. (Prosorhochmidae; Hoplonemertea, Nemertea) from Florida and Belize. J.Nat. Hist. 42: 1689-1727.


The focus of research in Maslakova lab is evolution of development in marine invertebrates, in particular, the phylum Nemertea, commonly known as ribbon worms. Historically, nemerteans recieved little attention, despite the fact that these graceful marine predators occur at all depths in all of the world’s oceans. About 1500 species are described, and we routinely encounter species new to science. We are interested in the diversity of embryonic and larval development in marine invertebrates, and want to understand how different developmental modes evolve. We combine classical comparative embryology with cell lineage tracing and analysis of gene expression patterns to investigate the mechanisms underlying evolutionary changes in development.