Annette Summers Engel
Annette Summers Engel, the Jones Associate Professor of Aqueous Geochemistry in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, has been awarded a major National Science Foundation grant from the Dimensions of Biodiversity program for the five-year project, “Functional diversity of chemosymbiosis in lucinid bivalves from coastal biomes.”The project is collaborative with Dr. Laurie C. Anderson at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and Dr. Barbara J. Campbell at Clemson University.
Lucinids are small clams that live in shallow marine, seagrass bed and mangrove swamp sediments. These environments are sensitive to natural and anthropogenic disturbances, but because our knowledge of lucinid-bacteria chemosymbiotic associations is limited, we do not know how environmental change within the coastal biome will affect the nature and type of lucinid chemosymbiotic associations. This project will uncover the genetic, taxonomic, and functional diversity of modern lucinid chemosymbioses from pristine to highly disturbed coastal biomes and will test for ways to characterize lucinid-bacteria biodiversity in the geologic past.