University of Oregon

Svetlana Maslakova

Associate Professor


Mail:   OIMB, P.O. Box 5389,
Charleston OR, 97420

For courier delivery:
OIMB, 63466 Boat Basin Rd
Charleston, OR 97420
Phone:   (541) 888-2581 x 362
Fax:   (541) 888-3250

Graduate Students

Nicole Moss (MS)


Marie Hunt, MS 2016

Terra Hiebert, PhD 2016

Laurel Hiebert, PhD 2015

April Bird, MS 2012


BI 457/557 Molecular Marine Biology (Fall and Winter)
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


† denotes a student co-author

2017 M. K. Hunt † and S. A. Maslakova. Development of a lecithotrophic pilidium larva illustrates convergent evolution of trochophore-like morphology. Frontiers in Zoology. 14:7. Open Access

2016 R. Collin, S. Fredericq, D. W. Freshwater, E. Gilbert, M. Madrid, S. Maslakova, M. P. Miglietta, R. M. Rocha, E. Rodríguez and R. W. Thacker. TaxaGloss – A Glossary and Translation Tool for Biodiversity Studies. Biodiversity Data Journal. 4: e10732. Open Access

2015 T. C. Hiebert † and S. A. Maslakova. Larval development of two NE Pacific pilidiophoran nemerteans (Heteronemertea; Lineidae). Biological Bulletin. 229(3): 265-275.

2015 T. C. Hiebert † and S. A. Maslakova. Integrative taxonomy of the Micrura alaskensis Coe, 1901 species complex (Nemertea: Heteronemertea), with descriptions of a new genus Maculaura gen. nov. and four new species from the NE Pacific. Zoological Science. 32(6): 615-637.

2015 L. S. Hiebert † and S. A. Maslakova. Expression of Hox, Cdx, and Six3/6 genes in the hoplonemertean Pantinonemertes californiensis offers insight into the evolution of maximally indirect development in the phylum Nemertea. EvoDevo. 6:26. Open Access

2015 L. S. Hiebert † and S. A. Maslakova. Hox genes pattern the anterior- posterior axis of the juvenile but not the larva in a maximally indirect developing invertebrate, Micrura alaskensis (Nemertea). BMC Biology. 13:23. Open Access

2014 S. A. Maslakova and T. C. Hiebert †. From trochophore to pilidium and back again: a larva’s journey. International Journal of Developmental Biology. 58: 585-591.
2014 A. Bird †, G. von Dassow, and S. A. Maslakova. How the pilidium larva grows. EvoDevo. 5:13. Open Access

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.

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 systematics, evolution and development of marine invertebrates, in particular, the phylum Nemertea, commonly known as ribbon worms. Nemerteans are non-segmented marine predatory worms that occur at all depths in all of the world’s oceans.  About 1500 species are described, but the actual diversity is likely at least twice that number. We routinely encounter and describe species new to science, even in parts of the world where nemertean fauna is thought to have been well-characterized, such as the NE Pacific. For example, by combining surveys of benthic adults, and planktonic larvae with DNA-barcoding, we have nearly doubled the known species-level diversity of nemerteans in the Oregonian Biogeograhic Province. In addition to the species diversity and systematics, we are interested in the diversity of embryonic and larval development, and want to understand how different developmental modes evolve. We combine classical comparative embryology with modern microscopical techniques, cell lineage tracing and analysis of gene expression patterns to investigate the mechanisms underlying evolutionary changes in development. Watch a series of “how-to” videos produced by Maslakova and a Smithsonian Insitution’s videographer Ana Endara in an effort to increase access to taxonomy and systematics of nemerteans.