Dr Niel L. Bruce

Dr Niel Bruce

Niel has written more than 195 scientific papers, numerous reports and popular articles including five monographs and three edited books. He has worked at the Smithsonian Institution, Australian Museum, Zoological Museum in Copenhagen as Curator of Crustacea and most recently at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand as head of the Marine Invertebrate Biodiversity and Collections programs. Niel joined the Queensland Museum in 2007 as Senior Curator at the Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville.

Queensland Museum research collections of coral-reef isopods have been built from extensive field work on the Great Barrier Reef, Western Australia and throughout the Indo-Pacific from Fiji and Papua New Guinea, the Great Barrier Reef, Western Australia and the Western Indian Ocean at South Africa, Mauritius, Zanzibar and Kenya.

Research Interests:

Niel's research continues to focus on the taxonomy, phylogeny, biogeography and biodiversity of tropical marine isopods, both free-living and parasitic forms. He has described or redescribed more than 520 species, 47 new genera and three new families of marine isopod. Present research focuses on Great Barrier Reef isopods, using this work as the basis for higher level revisions of Australian isopods. The prime focus of work at present is the systematics of the Asellota (a group of small isopods) from Australian coral reefs, funded by ABRS and CReefs–BHP Billiton. Niel is currently supervising four PhD students on different isopod taxonomy projects

Major research collaborations:

  • Prof Nico Smit and team at North-West University, South Africa—revisions of fish parasitic and free-living isopods of southern Africa.
  • Dr Regina Wetzer,Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County—molecular phylogeny of the Sphaeromeatidae, the largest family of free-living isopods Link
  • Dr Diana Galassi, University of L'Aquila Via Vetoio, Italy—discovery of the first marine Microparasellidae isopods from Australia.
  • Prof Jörundur Svavarsson, University of Iceland—revisions of the gnathiid isopods from the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Dr Marina Malyutina, Valdivostok, Russua—discovery of first Ganthostentroididae isopods from Australia, new species from the Great Barrier Reef.

Adjunct Appointments and committees:

  • Extraordinary Professor, Water Research Group (Ecology), Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.
  • Senior Research Fellow, Department of Zoology, University of Johannesburg, South Africa (to 2014).
  • Adjunct Lecturer, College of Marine and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.
  • Advisory Editor or Editorial Board for: Crustaceana, Journal of Crustacean Biology, PlosOne and Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society; former subject editor for Zootaxa and Zookeys.
  • Subject Editor for World Marine, Freshwater and Terrestrial Isopod Crustaceans database Link


  • Revision of the shallow-water marine families of the Asellota (Crustacea: Isopoda) of tropical and subtropical Australia Link
  • Research project describing new species and genera, and revising genera and families of shallow-water Asellota (Crustacea: Isopoda) of northern Australia, hitherto almost entirely undocumented from that region.

Recent Publications:

  • Bruce, N.L. (2009) The marine fauna of New Zealand: Isopoda, Aegidae (Crustacea). NIWA Biodiversity Memoir 122: 1–252
  • Bruce, N.L. (2015) Joeropsididae Nordenstam, 1933 (Crustacea: Isopoda: Asellota) from the Lizard Island region of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. ZooKeys 491: 1–62 Link
  • Bruce, N.L. & Buxton, C.L. (2013) Review of the marine isopod crustacean genus Hansenium Serov & Wilson, 1995 (Asellota: Stenetriidae) from tropical Australia and Papua New Guinea, with description of a new genus. Zootaxa 3664(4): 445–478 Link
  • Bruce, N.L. & Cumming, R.L. (2015). A new genus of Stenetriidae (Asellota: Isopoda: Crustacea) from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia and the southwestern Pacific. Zootaxa 3941(4): 485–508 Link
  • Bruce, N.L. & Wong, H. P.S. (2015). An overview of the marine Isopoda (Crustacea) of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 31: 152–168 Link
  • Hadfield, K.A,. Bruce, N.L., & Smit, N.J. (2014) Review of the fish parasitic genus Ceratothoa Dana, 1852 (Crustacea, Isopoda, Cymothoidae) from South Africa, including the description of two new species. ZooKeys 400: 1–42 Link
  • Hadfield, K.A., Bruce, N.L., Smit, N.J. (2015) A review of Mothocya Costa, in Hope, 1851 (Crustacea: Isopoda: Cymothoidae) from southern Africa, with description of a new species. African Zoology 50(2): 47–163 Link
  • Martin, M., Bruce, N.L., Nowak, B.F. (2015) Review of the fish-parasitic genus Ceratothoa Dana, 1852 (Crustacea: Isopoda: Cymothoidae) from Australia, with description of two new species. Zootaxa 3963(3): 251–294 Link
  • Poore, G.C.B. & Bruce, N.L. (2012) Global diversity of marine isopods (except Asellota and crustacean symbionts). PLoS ONE 7(8): 1–15 Link
  • Poore, G.C.B., … Bruce, N.L. et al. (2014). Invertebrate diversity of the unexplored marine western margin of Australia: taxonomy and implications for global biodiversity. Marine Biodiversity (Senckenberg) : 1–16 Link
  • Smit, N.J. Bruce, N.L., & Hadfield, K.A. (2014) Global diversity of fish parasitic isopod crustaceans of the family Cymothoidae. International Journal for Parasitology 3(2): 188–197 Link
  • Svavarsson, J. & Bruce, N.L. (2012) New and little-known gnathiid isopod crustaceans (Cymothoida) from the northern Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea. Zootaxa 3380: 1–33 Link
  • Wall, A.R., Bruce, N.L. & Wetzer, R. (2015) Review of Exosphaeroma amplicauda (Stimpson, 1857), E. aphrodita (Boone, 1923) and description of three new species (Crustacea: Isopoda: Sphaeromatidae) from the north-eastern Pacific. Zookeys 504: 11–58 Link

Related Links:


Revision of the shallow-water marine families of the Asellota (Crustacea: Isopoda) of tropical and sub-tropical Australia

Research project describing new species and genera, and revising genera and families, or shallow-water Asellota (Crustacea: Isopoda) of northern Australia.




Senior Curator, Tropical marine biodiversity, Biodiversity Program


BSc (Hons I), University of North Wales

PhD (University of Queensland)

Related Links

Of Interest