Janet Voight

Associate Curator of Invertebrate Zoology

Negaunee Integrative Research Center
Science Focus

    Janet Voight, Associate Curator of Zoology, is a specialist in cephalopod mollusks, especially octopuses. In terms of where she works, it is the deep sea. If you work in the deep sea, there are times when you need to be a bit of a generalist, which is how Janet got interested in the wood-boring bivalves, the Xylophagaininae, and their apparent predators, the enigmatic echinoderm, Xyloplax. Discovery reigns supreme in the deep sea, as we know less about it and the animals that live there than we do about the back side of the moon. Janet's work is building the framework that offers to change that situation, that framework of course being based on specimens collected at sea, and available for study at the Field Museum.


    • Deep Sea Biology and Evolution
    • Cephalopod Evolution & Ecology
    • Wood-boring bivalves of Xylophagainidae
    • Taxonomy and Systematics
    • Deep-Sea Biogeography
    • Quantitative Morphology

    Education and Work


    • 1990, Ph.D. University of Arizona, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
    • 1977, B.S. Iowa State University, Major Biology; Minor Geology.  With Honors


    • 1996-present. Associate Curator - Department of Zoology.  Field Museum of Natural History.
    • 1993-present. Lecturer, University of Chicago.  Committee on Evolutionary Biology.
    • 1990-1996.  Assistant Curator - Department of Zoology.  Field Museum of Natural History.
    • 1982‑1990.  Teaching Assistant, University of Arizona, Tucson.
    • 1979‑1982.  Research Assistant, University of Iowa Hospitals.
    • 1978‑1979.  Laboratory technician, City of Davenport, Iowa.


    Peer-reviewed publications

    1. Romano, C., J. R. Voight, J. B. Company, M. Plyuscheva and D. Martin. Submarine canyons as a habitat preferred for wood-boring species Xylophaga (Mollusca: Bivalvia).  Progress in Oceanography.118: 175–187. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2013.07.028.

    2. Voight, J. R. Possible suctorial feeding in a deep-sea octopus as a means of niche partitioning (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae).  Zoomorphology. 132: 157-162. DOI: 10.1007/s00435-012-0177-9

    3. Voight, J. R., R. W. Lee, A. J. Reft and A. E. Bates.  Scientific gear as a vector for alien species in the deep sea.  **Conservation Biology.  **26: 938-942.  DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2012.01864.x

    4. Voight, J. R. and M. Segonzac. At the bottom of the deep blue sea: A new wood-boring bivalve (Mollusca: Pholadidae: Xylophaga) from the Cape Verde Abyssal Plain (Subtropical Atlantic).Zoosystema. 34: 171-180.

    5. Voight, J.R. Meristic variation in males of the hydrothermal vent octopus, Muusoctopus hydrothermalis (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae).  Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 92: 361-366

    6. Janies, D. A., J. R. Voight, and M. Daly. Echinoderm phylogeny including Xyloplax, a progenetic asteroid.  Systematic Biology.  Systematic Biology. 60: 420-438.

    2010.  Strugnell, J., Y. Cherel, I.R. Cooke, I. G. Gleadall, F.G. Hochberg, C. M. Ibáñez, E. Jorgensen, V. V. Laptikhovsky, K. Linse, M. Norman, M. Vecchione, J. R. Voight and A. L. Allcock. The Southern Ocean: Source and sink?  Deep Sea Research II. 58: 196-204

    1. Reft, A. J. & J. R. Voight. Sensory structures on siphons of wood-boring bivalves (Pholadidae: Xylophagainae: Xylophaga). **Nautilus. **123 (3): 43-48.

    2. Strugnell, J. M., J. R. Voight, P. C. Collins and A. L. Allcock. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of a known and a new hydrothermal vent octopod: their relationships with the genus Benthoctopus (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae).  In Brökeland, W. & K. H. George (eds.) Deep-sea taxonomy – a contribution to our knowledge of biodiversity. ZooTaxa. 2096: 442-459.  http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/list/2009/zt02096.html.

    3. Voight, J. R. Near-shore and offshore wood-boring bivalves (Myoida: Pholadidae: Xylophagainae) of the deep Eastern Pacific Ocean: Diversity and Reproduction. Journal of Molluscan Studies. 75: 167-174. doi: 10.1093/mollus/eyp012

    4. Voight, J. R. Differences in spermatophore availability among octopodid species (Cephalopoda: Octopoda).  Malacologia. 51: 143-153.

    5. Voight, J. R. & K. Feldheim. Microsatellite inheritance and multiple paternity in the deep-sea octopus, Graneledone boreopacifica(Mollusca: Cephalopoda). **Invertebrate Biology. **128: 26-30.  DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7410.2008.00152.x

    6. Voight, J. R. A mature female of Bathothauma Chun, 1906 (Cephalopoda: Cranchiidae) from Hawaii. The American Malacological Bulletin. 26: 133-136.

    7. Voight, J. R. Deep-sea wood-boring bivalves of Xylophaga (Myoida: Pholadidae) on the Continental Shelf.  Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 88: 1467-1472.

    8. Voight, J. R. Observations of deep-sea octopodid behavior from undersea vehicles. For the Symposium “Cephalopods: A behavioral perspective” volume, American Malacological Bulletin. (with cover image). 24: 43-50.

    9. Voight, J. R. Experimental deep-sea deployments reveal diverse Northeast Pacific wood-boring bivalves of Xylophagainae (Myoida: Pholadidae). Journal of Molluscan Studies.73: 377-391.

    10. Voight, J. R. and J. D. Sigwart. The incidence of shell repair as an indicator of predation on hydrothermal vent limpets. **Marine Biology. **152: 129-133.DOI 10.1007/s00227-007-0669-1.

    11. Voight, J. R. Stauromedusae on the East Pacific Rise. **Cahiers de Biologie Marine. **47: 347-352.

    12. Voight, J. R. First report of the enigmatic echinoderm, Xyloplaxfrom the North Pacific. **Biological Bulletin. **208: 77-80(with cover image).

    13. Voight, J. R. Hydrothermal vent octopus, Vulcanoctopus hydrothermalis, feeds on bathypelagic amphipods of Halice.  **Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the U.K. **85: 985-988.

    14. Voight, J. R. & J. C. Drazen. Deep-sea Hatchling octopus of Graneledone boreopacifica: The Largest, Most Advanced Known.**Journal of Molluscan Studies.  **70: 400-402.

    15. Thompson, J. T. & J. R. Voight. Erectile tissue in the Octopus copulatory organ.  **Journal of the Zoological Society, London. **161: 101-108.

    16. Johnson, P. & The Lexen Science Party (an alphabetical list of 22 ending with J. Voight). Probing for life in the ocean crust with the LEXEN program. Eos, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union. 84: 109, 112.

    17. Voight, J. R. Morphometric analysis of male reproductive anatomy in octopodids (Mollusca: Cephalopoda). Biological Bulletin. 202: 148-155.

    Johnson, H. P., S. L. Hautala, M. A. Tivey, C. D. Jones, J. Voight, M. Pruis, I. Garcia-Berdeal, L. A. Gilbert, T. Bjorkland, W. Fredericks, J. Howland, M. Tsurumi, T. Kurakawa, K. Nakamura, K. O=Connell, L. Thomas, S. Bolton, J. Turner and the Thermal Grid Scientific Party. Survey studies hydrothermal circulation on the Northern Juan de Fuca Ridge.EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union. 83: 73, 78-79.

    1. Voight, J. R. The relationship between sperm reservoir and spermatophore length in benthic octopuses (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae).**  Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.  **81: 983-986.

    2. Voight, J. R. Morphological deformation in preserved specimens of the deep-sea octopus Graneledone. Journal of Molluscan Studies. 67: 95‑102.

    3. Voight, J. R. A deep-sea octopus (Graneledone cf. boreopacifica) as a shell-crushing hydrothermal vent predator. Journal of Zoology London. 252: 335-341.

    4. Voight, J. R. A review of predators and predation at deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Cahiers de Biologie Marine. 41: 155-166.

    5. Voight, J. R. The distribution of octopuses of Graneledone (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae) in reference to deep-sea features. Malacologia.  42: 63-74.

    6. Voight, J. R. & A. J. Grehan. Egg brooding by deep-sea octopuses in the North Pacific Ocean.  Biological Bulletin. 198: 94-100.

    7. Voight, J. R.  An overview of shallow-water octopus biogeography.  Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 586 (Vol. II): 549-559.

    8. Voight, J. R. Cladistic analysis of the order Octopoda based on anatomical characters. The Journal of Molluscan Studies. 63: 311-325.

    9. Humes, A. G. & J. R. Voight. Cholidya polypi Farran, 1914 (Copepoda: Harpacticoida: Tisbidae), a parasite of deep-sea octopuses in the North Atlantic and northeastern Pacific. Ophelia. 46: 65-81.

    10. Voight, J. R.  Male reproductive anatomy of Vitreledonella (Cephalopoda: Octopoda). American Malacological Bulletin. 13: 61-64.

    11. Voight, J. R. The hectocotylus and other reproductive structures of Berryteuthis magister (Teuthoidea: Gonatidae). The Veliger. 39: 117-124.

    1995.  Voight, J. R. Sexual dimorphism and prey partitioning in mid-water octopus (Cephalopoda:  Bolitaenidae). Biological Bulletin. 189: 113-119.

    1995.  Voight, J. R.&  S. E. Walker.  Geographic variation in shell bionts in the deep-sea snail GazaDeep-Sea Research.  42: 1261-1271.

    1994.  Lutz, R. A. &  J. R. Voight.  Close encounter in the deep. Nature. 371: 563.

    1994.  Voight, J. R., H. O. Pörtner & R. K. O'Dor.  A review of ammonia-mediated buoyancy in squids (Cephalopoda: Teuthoidea). Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology. 25: 193-203.

    1994.  Voight, J. R.  Morphological variation in shallow-water octopuses (Mollusca: Cephalopoda). The Journal of Zoology, London. 232: 491-504.

    1994.  Walker, S. E. & J. R. Voight.  Paleoecologic and taphonomic potential of deepsea gastropods. Palaios. 9: 48-59.

    1993.  Voight, J. R.  The association between distribution and octopodid morphology: Implications for classification. The Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 108: 209-223.

    1993.  Voight, J. R. The arrangement of suckers on octopodid arms as a continuous character.  Malacologia. 35: 351-359.

    1993.  Voight, J. R.  A cladistic reassessment of octopodid subfamilies.  Malacologia. 35: 343-349.

    1992.  Voight, J. R.  Movement, injuries and growth of members of a natural population of the Pacific pygmy octopus, Octopus digueti. The Journal of Zoology, London. 228: 247-263.

    1991.  Voight, J. R.  Ligula length and courtship in Octopus digueti: A potential mechanism of mate choice.  Evolution. 45: 1726-1730.

    1991.  Voight, J. R.  Enlarged suckers as an indicator of male maturity in Octopus. Bulletin of Marine Science. 49: 98-106.

    1991.  Voight, J. R.  Morphological variation in octopod specimens: Reassessing the assumption of preservation-induced deformation.  Malacologia. 33: 241-253.

    1988.  Voight, J. R.  Trans‑Panamanian geminate octopods (Mollusca: Octopoda). Malacologia. 29: 289‑294.

    1988.  Voight, J. R.  A technique for trapping sandflat octopuses.  American Malacological Bulletin. 6: 45‑48.

    1979.  Voight, J. R. & D. C. Glenn‑Lewin.  Strip‑mining, Peromyscus and other small mammals in southern Iowa.  Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science. 86: 133‑136.

    1978.  Voight, J. R. & D. C. Glenn‑Lewin.  Prey availability and prey taken by Long‑eared Owls in Iowa.  American Midland Naturalist. 99: 162‑171.

    Non-Peer Reviewed Publications

    2010.  Voight, J.R. In the news: Gulf Oil Spill.  In the Field, Bulletin of The Field Museum 81 (4): 9.

    1. Voight, J. R. Upwardly mobile bivalves.  Global Marine Environment Magazine. 8: 24.  http://www.mba.ac.uk/JMBA.php.

    2. Lyons, J. with J.R. Voight. Embarking on new adventures in the deep sea: A conversation with Janet Voight.  In the Field, Bulletin of The Field Museum. 79(3): 6-7.

    3. Voight, J. R with C.F.E. Roper and P. Ward. Cephalopoda. McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, 10edition.  3: 694-699.

    4. Voight, J. R. Coleoidea. McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, 10edition.  4: 400-401.

    2006.  Voight, J. R. with A. Guerra & R. Villaneuva. Mollusca: Cephalopoda: Introduction. P. 166 In: Handbook of deep-sea hydrothermal vent fauna.  D. Desbruyères & M. Segonzac, eds. Editions IFREMER, Plouzané, France.

    2006.  Voight, J. R. Mollusca: Cephalopoda: Incirrata Graneledone. P 172, In: Handbook of deep-sea hydrothermal vent fauna.  D. Desbruyères & M. Segonzac, eds. Editions IFREMER, Plouzané, France.

    1. Voight, J. R.  Mollusca: Cephalopoda: Incirrata Benthoctopus. P. 171, In: Handbook of deep-sea hydrothermal vent fauna.  D. Desbruyères & M. Segonzac, eds. Editions IFREMER, Plouzané, France.

    2. Voight, J. R.  How to study Animals from Habitats you’ve never seen. In the Field, Bulletin of The Field Museum 76(2): 16-17.

    3. Voight, J. R. The enigmatic little white octopus at East Pacific Rise hydrothermal vents. JMBA Global News.  **JMBA Global Marine environment **Issue 2: 10-11. http://www.mba.ac.uk/JMBA.php

    4. Voight, J. R., R. A. Zierenberg, J. McClain and the science Party P. Batson, K. Beers, M. Daly, B. Dushman, S. Gollner, B. Govenar, T. A. Haney, S. Hourdez, L. H. Liow, C. Parker, K. Von Damm, J. Zekely and K. A. Zelnio. FIELD Cruise to the Northern EPR: Discoveries made during Biological investigations from 8° 37'N to 12° 48' N.  **RIDGE 2000 Events.  **2: 22-24.

    5. East Pacific Rise. Expeditions at Field Museum web page. Wrote nearly all text, including 20 emails sent from cruise to hydrothermal vents on the East Pacific Rise during a research cruise with the manned submersible ALVIN.

    6. East Pacific Rise. Expeditions at Field Museum web page.

    2002.  Voight, J. R. Field Museum=s at-sea research dives deeper.  In the Field, Bulletin of The Field Museum. 73: 4-5.

    1. Web page AVoight at Sea@, collection of daily emails composed during 17 day cruise on board the R/V Thomas G. Thompson. Link no longer active, http://fmnh.org/education/voight/voight_expedition.html

    2. Photos of Benthoctopus canthylus In Cephalopods: A World Guide. By M. Norman Conchbooks Hackenheim, Germany.

    3. Voight, J. R.  Database of Hydrothermal vent specimens now On-Line. RIDGE Events. 10(2): 7.

    4. Lutz, R. A. & J. R. Voight. Mollusca: Cephalopoda: Incirrate octopods. In: Handbook of deep-sea hydrothermal vent fauna.  D. Desbruyères & M. Segonzac, eds. Editions IFREMER, Plouzané, France.

    5. Voight, J. R. Unlocking the mysteries of hydrothermal vents.  In the Field, Bulletin of The Field Museum.

    1995.  Voight, J. R.  Short discussion of how to best maintain and exhibit octopuses.  The Shape of Enrichment.

    1993.  Voight, J. R.  "Larval" and juvenile cephalopods: a guide to their identification. M. J. Sweeney, C.F.E. Roper, K. M. Mangold, M. R. Clarke and S. v. Boletzky (eds.). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 513. The Veliger. 36: 433-434.

    1993.  Voight, J. R.  Declines in AMU Membership: The problem is real and requires action now. AMU News (Newsletter of the American Malacological Union). 24: 1.

    1992.  Voight, J. R.  Octopus gardening. In the Field, Bulletin of The Field Museum.

    1990.  Letter to Editor, Chicago Tribune, explaining threatened status of Nautilus spp.

    1990.  Voight, J. R.  Population biology of Octopus digueti and the morphology of American  tropical Octopods. Ph. D. Dissertation, Univ. Arizona. 196 pp.

    1988.  Voight, J. R.  Predation by octopuses: The arsenal of attack. Hawaiian Shell News. 36(5): 1,6. (reprinted in several newsletters, such as Vita Marina, the Netherlands, Noticias del CEDO, Mexico.)

    1987.  Voight, J.R. Shell use by the Pacific Pygmy octopus. Hawaiian Shell News. 35 (12): 11,9.

    1. Voight, J. R.  Octopus research in the Gulf of California. American Malacological Union (AMU) News. 11(2): 11.

    1977.  Voight, J. R. and K. R. Moore.  Long‑eared Owl nesting in Marion County, Iowa. Iowa Bird Life. 47: 67.

    1976.  Glenn‑Lewin, D. C. & J. R. Voight.  Vertebrates (excluding fish) in the coal strip‑mining region of south‑east Iowa.  Energy and Mineral Resources Research Institute, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. IS‑ICP‑34, 36pp.

    1. Voight, J.  Iowa Coal Project‑Beneficiation Plant Wildlife Survey Data. In: Environmental Analysis concerning the ICP Coal Beneficiation

    Plant for Iowa Coal Research Project. J. B. Gulliford & M. M. Crow, eds.  Energy and Minerals Resources Research Institute, Iowa State University,

    Ames, IA. IS‑ICP‑25. Appendix D.2010. Grainger Foundation award: a day of shiptime onboard the R/V ROBERT SPROUL for collections enhancement and pursuit of research objectives (With Wm. L. Smith). $15,292.

    1. ChEss(Chemosynthetic Ecosystem Science)Intern support and Staff salary to finish sorting, update data and export hydrothermal vent, cold seep and wood fall database to the online chemosynthetic database supported by the Sloan Foundation.  $10,000.

    2008.  Field Dreams.  $2550 from The Field Museum’s Women’s Board members to support illustrations for deep-sea wood boring bivalves of Xylophaga.

    2007.  SGER NSF-0813588.  Final recoveries of deep-sea Deployments.  Recommended for Funding, with one day of HOV Alvin time requested.  Although DEB offered full support for budgeted costs and Alvin time, but ship time was not awarded.

    2001 - 2006. NSF Grant DEB-0103690.  Survey of invertebrates at sea floor deployments of wood in the North Pacific Ocean.  Fully funded $77,001.  Six days of ship and ROV Jason time (est. Value $20,000/day for ship-time, $10,000/day for ROV, total $180,000); in 2003, changed to DSV Alvin time.

    2000 - 2006. NSF Grant DEB-0072695. Faunal survey of hydrothermal vents and cold seeps off Northern California and Oregon.  Fully Funded, including seventeen at-sea days of R/V Atlantis and DSV Alvin time (est. Value $595,000).  After repeated delays, cruise site changed in 2003 to East Pacific Rise, at NSF's request and duration increased to 25 days (including 6 dive days awarded to other PI's and increased transit time.)

    1. Developmental Support for Seamount Studies.  Travel and field supply costs for ALVIN cruise. West Coast & Polar Regions UnderSea Research Program.

    2. Travel award, NOAA/NURP, to attend Eighth Deep-Sea Biology Symposium in Monterey.

    3. NOAA/NURP Grant. "Discriminating endemic from opportunistic predators at hydrothermal vents".  Fully funded, including ROV time and field expenses.

    4. NOAA/NURP Grant. "Mobile predators at Northeast Pacific vents" for field study at Juan de Fuca Ridge.  Award supported ROV time and field expenses.

    1993.  NSF Research Planning Grant: "Phylogenetic Reevaluation of the Octopod Suborders". Fully funded $17,793.

    1993.  NSF Grant "Support for computerization and expansion of the Invertebrate/Malacology Collection of the Field Museum of Natural History" Co-Project Director with R. Bieler. $102,000 for 18 months of support.

    1. NSF Grant Supplement "Support for minority undergraduate involvement in Collection management in Center for Evolutionary and Environmental Biology" (to DEB-92116374). $84,200.

    2. Travel Award.  American Malacological Union.  Symposium on Molluscan Speciation.

    3. Travel award.  American Malacological Union.  Symposium on North Pacific Biogeography.

    4. Conchologists of America Smithsonian Fellowship in Systematic Malacology.

    5. Research Grant for morphological study of the effects of preservation on Octopus. Hawaiian Malacological Society.

    6. Best Student Paper award.  American Malacological Union.

    7. Best Student Paper Award.  American Malacological Union and Western Society of Malacologists.

    8. Honorable mention student competition.  Southwestern and Rocky Mountain Division of American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    9. Honorable mention student competition.  Arizona/Nevada Academy of Sciences.