Echinoderms are an ancient and diverse group of marine animals with a rich fossil record. They occur abundantly in all modern oceans and at all depths, where they contribute importantly to patterns in biodiversity and to the structure and functioning of marine systems. It is therefore vital to understand how they will respond to a rapidly changing ocean climate and other anthropogenic stressors, informed by both the dynamics of the fossil record and responses of extant species.
The theme of the 13th International Echinoderm Conference (Hobart, Tasmania, 5-9 January 2009) was the response of echinoderms to global change. Echinoderms in a Changing World contains a selection of plenary and contributed papers, and a comprehensive presentation of abstracts of all oral papers and posters. The collection will be useful to all students of echinoderm biology, ecology and palaeontology, from undergraduate level to professional researchers.