James Garey

Professor Emeritus


Office: BSF 215
Phone: 813.974.9674
Lab: BSF 258

Dr. Garey no longer has an active lab and is not accepting graduate students.


  • M.A., San Francisco State University
  • Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin


  • Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Assistant Professor, University of Utah

  • Assistant Professor and Associate Professor, Duquesne University

  • Professor, University of South Florida

  • Assistant Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Florida

  • Founding Chair, CMMB Department, University of South Florida

  • President, Faculty Senate, University of South Florida

  • Vice Provost, University of South Florida


Biology and Geology of Springs and Aquifers and Molecular Phylogenetics

See Google Scholar here for a complete listing of my scholarly work.

The most recent area of Dr Garey’s research involved biodiversity, hydrology and geochemistry of coastal cave and aquifer systems focusing on the below ground interface between the aquifer and the Gulf of Mexico. The lab has been interested in anaerobic environments where sulfur is used instead of oxygen. This work included molecular analysis of bacterial and microeukaryote communities in the cave systems. We have carried out long term studies of several coastal cave systems on the Florida Gulf coast.

Other work in my lab has used molecular sequence data to study the community structure of organisms living in marine sediments and in soil. We have developed new methods to analyze sequence data that provides a much more detailed picture of community structure across a much larger cross section of organisms than traditional morphological analysis. We have studied shallow hydrothermal vents in Papua New Guinea that deliver large amounts of arsenic to a coral reef community. Our molecular and morphological analyses revealed how the community around the vents is affected by the arsenic and other physical parameters associated with the vents. Another project examined soil mesofauna across the globe that revealed a correlation between above ground and below ground biodiversity and small soil organisms are only rarely cosmopolitan in distribution.

Research in my laboratory has also focused on the use of molecular sequence data to investigate evolutionary relationships of living organisms. Investigations carried out in my lab to date have shown that among animals, protostomes are divided into two major lineages: the Ecdysozoa (molting animals: arthropods, nematodes, tardigrades, priapulids and others) and the Lophotrochozoans (annelids, molluscs, lophophorates and others).