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Michael G. Hadfield
Emeritus Professor, Kewalo Marine Laboratory
Emeritus  Professor, Department of Biology

Contact Info
(808) 539-7319 (ph)
(808) 599-4817 (fax)
Kewalo Marine Laboratory
41 Ahui Street
Honolulu, HI 96813


Stanford University, Ph.D (Biological Sciences)

University of Washington, M.S. (Zoology)

University of Washington, B.A. (Zoology)

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Research in my labs focuses on learning how benthic communities of animals, plants and microorganisms are established and maintained on the 71% of the earth’s surface that is covered by salt water. Thus, we study the development, settlement and metamorphosis of larvae of invertebrates that are major macro components of the communities. Studies in my labs and many others have revealed that bacteria residing in all surfaces in the oceans provide very site-specific cues for recruitment of many species from all major marine phyla. We investigate what it is about biofilm bacteria that induces specific larval recruitment into the communities. Our work is of necessity multidisciplinary, combining  studies of larval development, microbiology and molecular biology to arrive at insights into recruitment. We have established useful ‘model species’ that allow precise, experimental, laboratory studies of the settlement phenomena and dissection of bacterial molecules to learn the nature of the inducers. Our models include the globally distributed biofouling serpulid tubeworm Hydroides elegans, the Indo-Pacific coral-eating nudibranch Phestilla sibogae, and the Indo-Pacific coral Pocillopora ‘damicornis’. The first two are maintained continuously in the lab, while the coral can be brought to the lab and its larvae collected as they are released from the parent colonies.

Selected Publications

McFall-Ngai, M., M. G. Hadfield, Thomas Bosch, et al. 2013. Animals in a bacterial world, a new imperative for the life sciences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences doi/10.1073/pnas.1218525110.

Tran, C. and M. G. Hadfield. 2013. Sensory mechanisms utilized by coral planulae to detect settlement cues. Invertebrate Biology. Invertebrate Biology 132(3): 195-206.

Shikuma, N. J., M. Pilhofer, G. L. Weiss, M. G. Hadfield, G. J. Jensen, and D. K. Newman. 2014. Marine tubeworm metamorphosis induced by arrays of bacterial phage tail–like structures. Science 343: 529 – 533.

Erickson, P. B. and M. G. Hadfield. 2014. Population structure and genetic signs of population bottlenecks in the endangered Hawaiian tree snail Achatinella sowerbyana. Conservation Genetics 15(5):1209-1217.  DOI 10.1007/s10592-014-0612-1.

Hadfield, M.G., B. Nedved, S. Wilbur and M. A. R. Koehl. 2014. Biofilm cue for larval settlement in Hydroides elegans (Polychaeta): is contact necessary? Marine Biology, 161(11): 2577-2587. DOI: 10.1007/s00227-014-2529-0.

Asahina, A. Y., and M. G. Hadfield. 2014. Complete genome sequence of Cellulophaga lytica HI1 using PacBio single-molecule real-time sequencing. Genome Announcement, 2(6): 1-2 (e01148-14).

Price, M. E. and M. G. Hadfield. 2014. Population genetics and bottleneck effects in an ex situ population of critically endangered Hawaiian tree snails. PLoS ONE, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0114377.

Hadfield, M.G. 2015. The Tree Snail Partula gibba in the Northern Mariana Islands with a focus on Pagan Island. Bishop Museum Bulletin in Zoology 9: 147-167.

Hadfield, M. G., A. Asahina, S. Hennings and B. Nedved.  2015. The bacterial basis of biofouling: a case study. Indian Journal of Geomarine Science, 43 (11): 2075-2084.

Asahina, A. Y. and M. G. Hadfield. 2015. Draft Genome of Pseudoalteromonas luteoviolacea HI1 using Roche 454 and PacBio Single Molecule Real-Time Hybrid Sequencing. Genome Announcement 3(1): e01590-14. doi:10.1128/genomeA.01590-14.

Price, M. R., D. Sischo, M. Pascua and M. G. Hadfield. 2015. Demographic and genetic factors in the recovery or demise of ex situ populations following a severe bottleneck in fifteen species of Hawaiian tree snails. PeerJ:  DOI 10.7717/peerj.1406.

Sischo, D., M. R. Price, and M. G. Hadfield. 2016. Genetic and Demographic Insights into the Decline of a Captive Population of the Endangered Hawaiian Tree Snail Achatinella fuscobasis (Achatinellinae) Pacific Science, 70: 133-141. DOI 10.2984/70.2.1.

Price, M. R., Z. H. Forsman, I. Knapp, M. G. Hadfield, R. J. Toonen. 2016. The complete mitochondrial genome of Achatinella mustelina (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Stylommatophora). Mitochondrial DNA Resources: DOI 10.1080/23802359.2016.1149787.

Price, M. R., R. O’Rorke, A. S. Amend, and M. G. Hadfield. 2016. Diet selection at three spatial scales: Implications for conservation of an endangered Hawaiian tree snail. Biotropica, DOI: 10.1111/btp.12339

Price, M.R., Z. H. Forsman, I. Knapp, R. J. Toonen, and M. G. Hadfield. 2016. The complete mitochondrial genome of Achatinella sowerbyana (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Stylommatophora: Achatinellidae). Mitochondrial DNA Resources, Part B, 1:1. 666-668, DOI: 10.1080/23802359.2016.1219631

Batzel, G., B.T. Nedved and M. G. Hadfield. 2016. Expression and localization of carbonic anhydrase genes in the serpulid polychaete, Hydroides elegans. Biol. Bull. 231:175-184.

Freckelton, M., B. T. Nedved and M. G. Hadfield. 2017. Induction of Invertebrate Larval Settlement; Different Bacteria, Different Mechanisms? Scientific Reports, DOI: 10.1038/srep42557

Sischo, D. R. and M. G. Hadfield. 2017. Phylogeographic relationships among multi-island populations of the tree snail Partula gibba (Partulidae) in the Mariana Islands. Biol. J. Linnean Soc. 20:1-10.

Strathmann, R.R., M. Strathmann and M. G. Hadfield. 2018. Development of a vermetid gastropod that involves encapsulated nurse eggs, variously arrested veligers, and cannibalism is a case of brood reduction, not poecilogony. Biological Bulletin 235: doi: 10.1086/699324.

Laumer, C., H. Gruber-Vodicka, M. G. Hadfield, V. B. Pearse, A. Riesgo, J. C. Marioni and G. Giribet. 2018. Support for a clade of Placozoa and Cnidaria in genes with minimal compositional bias. eLife 2018:7:e36278 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.36278.

Hadfield, M.G. 2018. Book review: Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Invertebrate Larvae. The American Midland Naturalist, 180(2):318-319.

Summers, S., M. Freckelton, B. Nedved, S. Rice, and M.G. Hadfield. 2018. The full Genome sequence of Thalassotalea euphylliae H1, isolated from a Montipora capitata coral located in Hawai’i. Microbiology Resource Announcements, DOI:10.1128/MRA.01244-18.

Kerr, J. Q., D. J. Hess, C. M. Smith and M.G. Hadfield. 2018. Recognizing and reducing barriers to science and math education and STEM careers for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. CBE – Life Sciences Education, 17(4):

Vijayan, N., K.A. Lema, B. Nedved and M. G. Hadfield. 2018. Microbiomes of the polychaete Hydroides elegans across its life-history stages. Marine Biology, 84:31-42. DOI: 10.1007/s00227-019-3465-9.

Summers, S., M. Freckelton, B. Nedved, S. Rice, and M.G. Hadfield. 2019. The full Genome sequence of Thalassotalea euphylliae H2 strain. Microbiology Resource Announcements, DOI: 10.1128/MRA.01608-18.

Hadfield, M.G. and D. J. Haraway. 2019. The Tree-Snail Manifesto. Current Anthropology, 60, suppl. 20: S209 – S235. DOI: 10.1086/703377.

Gruber-Vodicka, H.R., N. Leisch, M. Kleiner, T. Hinzke, M. Liebeke, M. McFall-Ngai, M. G. Hadfield, and N. Dubilier. 2019. Two intracellular and cell type-specific bacterial symbionts in the placozoan Trichoplax H2. Nature Microbiology

Lema, K.A., F. Constancias, S. A. Rice and M. G. Hadfield. 2019. High bacterial diversity in near-shore and oceanic biofilms and their influence on larval settlement by Hydroides elegans (Polychaeta). Environmental Microbiology, 21(9): 3472–3488.

Vijayan, N. and M. G. Hadfield. 2020. Characterizing the microbial diversity of a natural biofilm that induces larval settlement of Hydroides elegans. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 84:31-42.

Hadfield, M. G. 2020. Snails that eat snails. The Feral Atlas (Stanford University Press).

Hadfield, M. G. and M. J. McFall-Ngai. 2021. Trichoplax and its bacteria:  How many are there? Are they speaking? Ch. 3, pp. 35-48, in: Cellular dialogues in the holobiont, M. G. Hadfield and T. C. G. Bosch, eds. CRC/Taylor and Francis.

Hadfield, M. G. and T. C. G. Bosch. 2021. Cellular dialogues between hosts and microbial symbionts: generalities emerging. Ch. 17, pp. 287-290, in: Cellular dialogues in the holobiont, M. G. Hadfield and T. C. G. Bosch, eds. CRC/Taylor and Francis.

Hadfield, M. G. 2021. Developmental Symbiosis:  A Sponge Larva Needs Symbiotic Bacteria to Succeed on the Benthos. Current Biology, Jan. 2021.

Price, M. R., M. G. Hadfield, I. S. S. Knapp, R. J. Toonen and Z. H. Forsman. 2021. Evolutionary genomics of endangered Hawaiian tree snails (Achatinellidae: Achatinellinae) for conservation of adaptive capacity. PeerJ 9:e10993. DOI 10.7717/peerj.10993

Huggett, M. J., E. J. Carpizo-Ituarte, B. T. Nedved and M. G. Hadfield. 2021. Formation and function of the primary tube during settlement and metamorphosis of the marine polychaete Hydroides elegans Haswell (Serpulidae). Biological Bulletin. 240:82-94.

Sischo, D. R. and M. G. Hadfield. 2021. The tree snail on Rota Island, Northern Mariana Islands, long identified as Partula gibba, is a different species. ZooKeys 1037: 105–118. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.1037.56303

Hadfield, M. G., M. F. Freckelton and B. T. Nedved. 2021. The natural sequence of events in larval settlement and metamorphosis of Hydroides elegans (Polychaeta; Serpulidae). PLoSOne

Nedved, B. T., M. L. Freckelton and M. G. Hadfield 2021. Laser ablation of the apical sensory organ of Hydroides elegans (Polychaeta) does not inhibit detection of metamorphic cues. J. Exp. Biol.

McEntire, K. D., M. Gage, R. Gawne, M. G. Hadfield, C. Hulshof, M. A. Johnson, D. L. Levesque, J. Segura and N. Pinter-Wollman. 2021. Understanding drivers of variation and predicting variability across levels of biological organization. Integrative & Comparative Biology.

Song, H., T. Zhang and M. G. Hadfield. 2021. Letter. Metamorphosis in warming oceans: a microbe-larva perspective. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 2 pp.

Koehl, M. A. R. K., E. Perotti, D. Sischo, T. Hata and M. G. Hadfield. 2022. Effects of currents, waves, and biofilms on motion and surface contacts by tubeworm larvae swimming above or below surfaces. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 686: 107–126.

Croll, R. P. and M. G. Hadfield. 2022. Development and metamorphic loss of the musculature in larvae of the nudibranch Phestilla sibogae: a functional ontogeny. Acta Zoologica,103 (3):1-24.

Freckelton, M. L., B. T. Nedved, Y.-S. Cai, S. Cao, H. Turano, R. A. Alegado and M. G. Hadfield. 2022. Bacterial lipopolysaccharide induces settlement and metamorphosis in a marine larva. Proc. National Academies of Science, 119(18): e220795119.

Gilbert, S. F. and M. G. Hadfield. 2022. Holobiont development: Developmental biology must expand to join conservationists in sustaining and restoring earth’s biodiversity. Development (in press).


Bosch, T. C. G. and M. G. Hadfield, eds. 2021. Cellular Dialogues in the Holobiont. CRC/Taylor & Francis, 299 pp.

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