Staff Profile
Erica Keppel Photo


Research interests

Polychaeta Taxonomy, Invasion ecology, marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. My research is focused on benthic community analysis, the spatio-temporal variability of the macrozoobenthic assemblages and their relationship with abiotic variables.

SERC project

Fouling surveys along the US coasts (CA, FL, MD) but not only; Polychaeta taxonomy.

Contact details

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Contees Wharf Road
Edgewater, MD 21037
e. ׀ t. 443-482-2409

Academic Qualifications

2011    Endeavour Award Research Fellowships under the supervision of PhD Chris Glasby at Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory, Darwin, Australia. Taxonomic-community analysis project based on a historical collection of polychaete worms collected in a major survey of Darwin Harbour in 1993.

2008    Ph.D., Environmental Sciences, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy at ISMAR (Institute of Marine Science). Thesis: The macrozoobenthic communities of the Dese estuary (Venice Lagoon): diversity, structure and functioning.

2003    M.Sc., Natural Sciences, University of Padua, Italy at ISMAR (Institute of Marine Science). Thesis: Spatio-temporal distribution of the Polychaetes community along the Dese estuary (Venice Lagoon).



Tagliapietra D, Sigovini M, Keppel E, Guarneri I, Palanti S, Veronese N, Abbate A, 2019. Bioerosion effects of Sea Level Rise on the Palazzo Ducale water doors in Venice (Italy). Facies 65: 34.

Keppel E, Keith I, Ruiz GM, Carlton JT 2019. New records of native and non-indigenous polychaetes (Annelida: Polychaeta) in the Galapagos Islands. Aquatic Invasions 14(1): 59-84.

Del Pasqua, Michela, Schulze, Anja, Ana Tovar-Hernandez, Maria, Keppel, Erica, Lezzi, Marco, Gambi, Maria Cristina and Giangrande, Adriana. (2018). Clarifying the taxonomic status of the alien species Branchiomma bairdi and Branchiomma boholense (Annelida: Sabellidae) using molecular and morphological evidence . Plos One, 13 (5) , 1-27.

Keppel, Erica, Ana Tovar-Hernandez, Maria and Ruiz, Gregory. (2018). New records of the non-indigenous species Branchiomma bairdi and B-conspersum (Polychaeta: Sabellidae) on the Pacific coast of North America. Bioinvasions Records, 7 (3) , 229-236.

Madricardo F, Foglini F, Kruss A, Ferrarin C, Pizzeghello NM, Murri C, Rossi M, Bajo M, Bellafiore D, Campiani E, Fogarin S, Grande V, Janowski L, Keppel E, Leidi E, Lorenzetti G, Maicu F, Maselli V, Mercorella A, Montereale Gavazzi G, Minuzzo T, Pellegrini C, Petrizzo A, Prampolini M, Remia A, Rizzetto F, Rovere M, Sarretta A, Sigovini M, Sinapi L, Umgiesser G, Trincardi F, 2017. High-resolution multibeam and hydrodynamic datasets for tidal channels and inlets of Venice lagoon. Scientific Data Nature 4: 170121.

Bastida-Zavala JR, McCann LD, Keppel E and Ruiz GM, 2017. The Fouling serpulids (Polychaeta: Serpulidae) from the coasts of United States coastal waters: an overview. European Journal of Taxonomy 344: 1-76.

Jimenez, H, Keppel E, Chang AL, and Ruiz GM, 2017. Invasions in Marine Communities: Contrasting Species Richness and Community Composition Across Habitats and Salinity. Estuaries and Coasts. DOI 10.1007/s12237-017-0292-4 Online July 25, 2017

Keppel E, Armeli Minicante S, Bonomo S, Capotondi L, Ceregato A, Fontaneto D, Froglia C, Petrocelli A, Taviani M & CNR TAXONOMIC TEAM 2017. The taxonomic work at CNR. 146 pp. REPORT

Sun Y, Wong E, Keppel E, Williamson J, Kupriyanova E, 2017. A global invader or a complex of regionally distributed species? Clarifying the status of an invasive calcareous tubeworm Hydroides dianthus (Verrill, 1873) (Polychaeta: Serpulidae) using DNA barcoding. Marine Biology 164(1): 1-12.

Sigovini M, Keppel E, Tagliapietra D, 2016. Open nomenclature in the biodiversity era. Methods in Ecology and Evolution

Keppel E, Tovar–Hernández MA, Ruiz GM, 2015. First record and establishment of Branchiomma coheni (Polychaeta: Sabellidae) in the Atlantic Ocean and review of non–indigenous species of the genus. Zootaxa 4058 (4): 499–518

Gambi MC, Keppel E, Guglielmo R, Giangrande A, Garrard S, 2015. Polychaetes associated to Posidonia oceanica meadows along a gradient of ocean acidification at a CO2 vent system (Ischia, Italy). PeerJ (Abstract Submitted)

Lorenti M, Keppel E, Petrocelli A, Sigovini M,  Tagliapietra D, 2015. The non-indigenous Paranthura japonica Richardson, 1909 (Isopoda: Anthuroidea: Paranthuridae) from the Mar Piccolo lagoon, Taranto (Italy) Environmental Science and Pollution Research Journal (Submitted)

Pugnetti A, Acri F, Bernardi Aubry F, Camatti E, Cecere E, Facca C, Franzoi P, Keppel E, Lugliè A, Mistri M, Munari C, Padedda Bachisio M, Petrocelli A, Pranovi F, Pulina S, Satta CT, Sechi N, Sfriso A, Sigovini M, Tagliapietra D, Torricelli P, 2013. The Italian Long Term Ecosystem Research network (LTER-Italy): results, opportunities and challenges for Coastal Transitional Ecosystems. Transitional Waters Bulletin 7(1): 43-63.

Tagliapietra D, Sigovini M, Keppel E, Magni P, 2014. Saprobity as a structuring factor for benthic biodiversity in coastal transitional ecosystems: a new approach. Biologia Marina Mediterranea, 21 (1): 178-181. (Italian version).

Sigovini M, Keppel E, Tagliapietra D, 2013. M-AMBI revisited: looking inside a widely-used benthic index. Hydrobiologia 717(1): 41-50,

Tagliapietra D, Keppel E, Sigovini M, Lambert G, 2012. First record of the colonial ascidian Didemnum vexillum in the Mediterranean: Lagoon of Venice (Italy). Bioinvasions Records 1(4): 247-254

Keppel E, Sigovini M, Tagliapietra D, 2012. A new geographical record of Polycera hedgpethi Er. Marcus, 1964 (Nudibranchia: Polyceridae) and evidence of its established presence in the Mediterranean Sea, with a review of its geographical distribution. Marine Biology Research 8(10): 969-981.

Bertollo L, Gentilin S, Keppel E, Lana R, Zanon V, 2011. Notebook of Chioggia's Tegnue. Graphics Publishing Turato. Pp. 96 (Italian version). ISBN: 978-88-89524-60-2

Volpi Ghirardini A, Losso C, Libralato G, Zanella M, Sigovini M, Keppel E, Tagliapietra D, 2010. Sea water piling: traditional or alternative materials? An integrated biological and ecotoxicological evaluation in Venice Lagoon (Italy). 39th CIESM Congress, Venezia, 10-14/05/2010. Rapp. Comm. Int. Mer Medit., 39: 697.

Maggiore F, Keppel E, 2007. Biodiversity and distribution of Polychaetes and Molluscs along the Dese Estuary (Lagoon of Venice, Italy). Hydrobiologia 588: 189–203.

Maggiore F, Keppel E, 2006. Hard substrate colonization in an area with artificial reef of the Northern Adriatic Sea: one year assay. ARPAV Publication. Sea Experimental Area: first experiences in Veneto on the sea bottom elevation with inert material. 109-122. (Italian version) ISBN 88-7504-104-0

Tagliapietra D, Zanon V, Frangipane G, Pessa G, Cordone P, Keppel E, Fenzi GA, 2006. Effects of introduction of artificial reef on the soft sediment benthic community. ARPAV Publication. Sea Experimental Area: first experiences in Veneto on the sea bottom elevation with inert material. 97-108. (Italian version) ISBN 88-7504-104-0

Keppel E, Maggiore F, Puppini S, 2005. The Dese estuary (lagoon of Venice, Italy): a case of study for biodiversity at the community level. In: Scientific Research and Safeguarding of Venice, CORILA Publ. Proc. Annual General Meeting of CORILA, Venezia 2004: 443-456. ISBN 9788888143125