Clams Speak of Threatened Ocean Biodiversity

SeaDiscovery.com
Sunday, October 06, 2013
Photo courtesy of SDSM&T

Chemosymbiosis, the association of bacteria that fix carbon and supply it to their hosts in the absence of sunlight, remains largely unexplored in coastal environments.

Laurie Anderson, Ph.D., head and professor of the Department of Geology & Geological Engineering and director of the Museum of Geology at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, has received a $405,080 National Science Foundation grant to examine the functional biodiversity of chemosymbiosis in clams and its role in supporting sensitive coastal biomes.  A collaboration among three universities – SDSM&T, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Clemson University – the project’s total award tops $1.63 million over five years.

 

Lucinids, the clams to be studied, are the most taxonomically diverse clade of bivalve clams that exploit chemosymbionts to gain energy and avoid toxins. Recent molecular studies by this research team reveal novel genetic and metagenomic diversity typically unassociated with lucinid endosymbionts – an effort that reveals just how little is known of chemosymbiotic associations in these environments.

Anderson’s portion of the project investigates how the morphology of the living bivalve hosts might reveal the presence of endosymbionts or the degree or type of symbiotic dependence. “If we find a link, it gives us a way to track this relationship in the fossil record. Fossils of this bivalve family are common in the Cretaceous rocks of West River and are especially associated with fossil hydrocarbon seeps that dot the landscape out on the prairies,” she explained.

The research will fill gaps in understanding about lucinid biodiversity loss that may occur in habitats sensitive to natural and anthropogenic disturbances – essential to coastal resource management decisions.

Though her project is set to begin Jan. 1, 2014, Anderson’s work on these systems has spanned more than two decades as a paleobiologist and expert in bivalve systematics, especially for the New World subtropics and tropics.
The grant includes significant field work in Florida, the Bahamas and California.

She added: "We will also be working with collections in museums in Florida and California. In addition, we will do lab work here in the Paleontology Research Laboratory, and the field collections we make will become part of the museum’s collections.”

About SDSM&T

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

Maritime Reporter July 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

RS to Exhibit at SMM 2014

Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) announced it will exhibit at Shipbuilding, Machinery and Marine Technology (SMM) International Trade Fair September 9-12, 2014 in Hamburg, Germany.

Green Marine, ACPA Partner to Reduce Environmental Footprint

Green Marine and the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the goal of jointly expanding efforts

SC Ports’ Earnings, Volumes Surpass Plans

July cargo volumes deliver strong start to new fiscal year SC Ports Authority reported 2014 fiscal year-end operating earnings of $14.3 million, 20.7 percent over the organization's financial plan.

Marine Science

Mærsk Putting Valuable Experience to Good Use

The Mærsk Deliverer rig team has initiated seven local acceleration programmes in Angola. The goal is to train and develop local talent to take on increasingly

Markey Equips Research Vessel Sally Ride

Named for the first American woman launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, the Research Vessel Sally Ride was commissioned August 9 at Dakota Creek Industries (Anacortes, Washington).

Admiral Vladimirsky on Round-the-world Voyage

On 18 August, the Admiral Vladimirsky oceanographic research ship of the Baltic Fleet will leave St. Petersburg and then set sail on an unprecedented round-the-world voyage.

Ocean Observation

Water Monitoring to Continue at Western Gulf Ports

A water monitoring network that helps keep port traffic moving is the responsibility of the Conrad Blucher Institute (CBI) for Surveying and Science at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Markey Equips Research Vessel Sally Ride

Named for the first American woman launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, the Research Vessel Sally Ride was commissioned August 9 at Dakota Creek Industries (Anacortes, Washington).

BOEM to Modernize Financial Assurance and Risk Management

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on Risk Management, Financial Assurance, and Loss

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2452 sec (4 req/sec)