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April 24, 2014
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Suzanne Williams

Department of Life Sciences, NHM

Wednesday 30 April 11:00

 

Sir Neil Chalmers seminar room, Darwin Centre LG16 (below Attenborough studio)


The deep-sea accounts for approximately 60% of the Earth's surface, and yet little is known about its rich diversity. This fragile ecosystem is under threat from habitat destruction and over-exploitation from fishing and mining ventures. It is vital we learn more about the diversity of the deep-sea biota and their evolution before these habitats suffer further destruction.

 

Understanding their evolution involves answering significant questions such as how have deep sea organisms adapted to cope with the demanding nature of this extreme environment, where problems include high pressure, limited food resources, low light and the difficulty of producing and maintaining a protective shell.

 

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/resources-rx/images/1036/deep-sea-trochoid_125316_1.jpg

A new species of deep-sea trochid

 

I investigate the effects of three separate factors and their effects on diversification in two families of deep-sea gastropods: 1) global climate change, 2) tectonic events and 3) key innovations including the loss of eye function and changes in trophic level.

 

For more information on Suzanne's research, see her project pages.