Dr Suzanne Williams

Dr Suzanne Williams

Researcher

Department: Life Sciences
Division: LS Invertebrates
Contact: email
Phone: 020 7942 5351

Summary

Today the Indo-West Pacific Ocean is the largest of the marine biogeographic provinces and it harbours some of the highest levels of biodiversity, especially of shallow water marine invertebrates. Much of my research focuses on determining the origins of this biodiversity and the factors that drive speciation and diversification in tropical oceans. In particular, I am interested in identifying which extrinsic (global, regional and local) and intrinsic factors have been important in shaping tropical marine diversity both in shallow and deep-sea groups. Recent projects include using radiations within the ancient vetigastropod group to test theories about evolutionary responses to changes in temperature over geological timescales especially on continental shelf gastropods (Solariellidae) and the effect of tectonic movements on biogeographical patterns (Lunella, Turbo); the role of dietary specialisation within deep-sea molluscs (trochid gastropods and anomalodesmatan bivalves); and evolution of chemosymbiotic bivalves (Lucinidae). New projects include testing the utility of the entire mitochondrial genome in molluscan phylogenies and transcriptomic studies to learn more about how the molluscan phenotype has evolved.

Employment history

Academic

Researcher, Natural History Museum, Department of Life Sciences, United Kingdom, 2003 - ongoing

Post-doctoral fellow, Natural History Museum, Department of Zoology, United Kingdom, 2001 - 2003

Postdoctoral fellow, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama, 1997 - 2000

PhD student, Australian Institute of Marine Science & James Cook University, Australia, 1992 - 1997

Experimental Scientist, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Australia, 1989 - 1992

Publications

Cunha RL, Lima FP, Tenorio MJ, Ramos AA, Castilho R, Williams ST (2014) Evolution at a Different Pace: Distinctive Phylogenetic Patterns of Cone Snails from Two Ancient Oceanic Archipelagos. Systematic Biology, 63 (6): 971 - 987. doi: 10.1093/sysbio/syu059

VILVENS CLAUDE, WILLIAMS SUZANNET, HERBERT DAVIDG (2014) New genus Arxellia with new species of Solariellidae (Gastropoda: Trochoidea) from New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Western Australia, Vanuatu and Tonga . Zootaxa, 3826 (1): 255 - 255. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.3826.1.8

Bowen BW, Shanker K, Yasuda N, Celia M, Malay MCMD, von der Heyden S, Paulay G, Rocha LA, Selkoe KA, Barber PH, Williams ST, Lessios HA, Crandall ED, Bernardi G, Meyer CP, Carpenter KE, Toonen RJ (2014) Phylogeography unplugged: comparative surveys in the genomic era. Bulletin of Marine Science, 90 (1): 13 - 46. doi: 10.5343/bms.2013.1007

Helwerda RA, Wesselingh FP, WILLIAMS ST (2014) On some Vetigastropoda (Mollusca, Gastropoda) from the Plio-Pleistocene of the Philippines with descriptions of three new species. Zootaxa, 3755 : 101 - 135. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.3755.2.1.

TAYLOR JD, GLOVER EA, WILLIAMS ST (2014) Diversification of chemosymbiotic bivalves: origins and relationships of deeper water Lucinidae. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 111 (2): 401 - 420. doi: 10.1111/bij.12208

Williams ST, Foster PG, Littlewood DTJ (2014) The complete mitochondrial genome of a turbinid vetigastropod from MiSeq Illumina sequencing of genomic DNA and steps towards a resolved gastropod phylogeny. Gene, 533 (1): 38 - 47. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2013.10.005

WILLIAMS ST, Smith LM, Herbert DG, Marshall B, Warén A, Kiel S, DYAL P, Linse K, Vilvens C, Kano Y (2013) Cenozoic climate change and diversification on the continental shelf and slope: evolution of gastropod diversity in the family Solariellidae (Trochoidea). Ecology and Evolution, 3 (4): 887 - 917. doi: 10.1002/ece3.513

CLAREMONT M, Houart R, WILLIAMS ST, REID DG (2013) A molecular phylogenetic framework for the Ergalataxinae (Neogastropoda: Muricidae). Journal of Molluscan Studies, 79 (1): 19 - 29. doi: 10.1093/mollus/eys028

CLAREMONT M, Vermeij GJ, WILLIAMS ST, REID DG (2013) Global phylogeny and new classification of the Rapaninae (Gastropoda: Muricidae), dominant molluscan predators on tropical rocky seashores. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 66 (1): 91 - 102. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2012.09.014

Lasota R, Pilczynska J, Williams ST, Wolowicz M (2013) Fast and easy method for total DNA extraction and gene amplification from larvae, spat and adult mussels Mytilus trossulus from the Baltic Sea. Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies, 42 (4): 486 - 489. doi: 10.2478/s13545-013-0105-8

TAYLOR JD, GLOVER EA, WILLIAMS ST (2013) Taxonomy and phylogeny of western Atlantic Lucinidae: new genus for Lucina costata d'Orbigny, 1846, a new species of Ferrocina and neotype designation for Venus orbiculata (Montagu, 1808). Nautilus, 127 : 131 - 146.

WILLIAMS ST (2013) Margarellinae: a new calliostomatid subfamily. Zoologica Scripta, 42 (2): 227 - 227. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-6409.2012.00566.x

CLAREMONT M, REID DG, WILLIAMS ST (2012) Speciation and dietary specialization in Drupa, a genus of predatory marine snails (Gastropoda: Muricidae). Zoologica Scripta, 41 (2): 137 - 149. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-6409.2011.00512.x

Donald KM, PRESTON J, WILLIAMS ST, REID DG, Winter D, Alvarez R, Buge B, Hawkins SJ, Templado J, Spencer HG (2012) Phylogenetic relationships elucidate colonization patterns in the intertidal grazers Osilinus Philippi, 1847 and Phorcus Risso, 1826 (Gastropoda: Trochidae) in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 62 (1): 35 - 45. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2011.09.002

GOWER DJ, JOHNSON KG, Richardson JE, ROSEN BR, Rüber L, WILLIAMS ST. , (2012) Biotic evolution and environmental change in Southeast Asia. The Systematics Association Special Volume 82 & Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

REID DG, DYAL P, WILLIAMS ST (2012) A global molecular phylogeny of 147 periwinkle species (Gastropoda, Littorininae). Zoologica Scripta, 41 (2): 125 - 136. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-6409.2011.00505.x

WILLIAMS ST (2012) Advances in molecular systematics of the vetigastropod superfamily Trochoidea. Zoologica Scripta, 41 (6): 571 - 595. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-6409.2012.00552.x

WILLIAMS ST, HALL A, KUKLINSKI P (2012) Unraveling cryptic diversity in the Indo-West Pacific gastropod genus Lunella (Turbinidae) using elliptic Fourier analysis. American Malacological Bulletin, 30 (1): 189 - 206. doi: 10.4003/006.030.0117

CLAREMONT M, REID DG, WILLIAMS ST (2011) Evolution of corallivory in the gastropod genus Drupella. Coral Reefs, 30 (4): 977 - 990. doi: 10.1007/s00338-011-0788-5

TAYLOR JD, GLOVER EA, SMITH L, DYAL P, WILLIAMS ST (2011) Molecular phylogeny and classification of the chemosymbiotic bivalve family Lucinidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 163 (1): 15 - 49. doi: 10.1111/j.1096-3642.2011.00700.x

WILLIAMS ST, Apte D, Ozawa T, Kagilis F, Nakano T (2011) Speciation and dispersal along continental coastlines and island arcs in the Indo-West Pacific turbinid gastropod genus Lunella.. Evolution, 65 (6)doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01255.x

CLAREMONT M, WILLIAMS ST, Barraclough T, REID DG (2011) The geographic scale of speciation in a marine snail with high potential dispersal. Journal of Biogeography, 38 (6): 1016 - 1032. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2011.02482.x

Barco A, CLAREMONT M, REID DG, Houart R, Bouchet P, WILLIAMS ST, Cruaud C, Couloux A, Oliverio M (2010) A molecular phylogenetic framework for the Muricidae, a diverse family of carnivorous gastropods.. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 56 (3)doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2010.03.008

REID DG, DYAL P, WILLIAMS ST (2010) Global diversification of mangrove fauna: a molecular phylogeny of Littoraria (Gastropoda: Littorinidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 55 (1): 185 - 201. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2009.09.036

WILLIAMS ST, Donald KM, Spencer HG, Nakano T (2010) Molecular systematics of the marine gastropod families Trochidae and Calliostomatidae (Mollusca: Superfamily Trochoidea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 54 (3): 783 - 809. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2009.11.008

TAYLOR JD, GLOVER EA, WILLIAMS ST (2009) Phylogenetic position of the bivalve family Cyrenoididae - removal from (and further dismantling of) the superfamily Lucinoidea. The Nautilus, 132 : 9 - 13.

REID DG, DYAL P, Lozouet P, Glaubrecht M, WILLIAMS ST (2008) Mudwhelks and mangroves: the evolutionary history of an ecological association (Gastropoda: Potamididae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 47 (2): 680 - 699. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2008.01.003

CLAREMONT M, REID DG, WILLIAMS ST (2008) A molecular phylogeny of the Rapaninae and Ergalataxinae (Neogastropoda: Muricidae). Journal of Molluscan Studies, 74 : 215 - 221.

GLOVER EA, TAYLOR JD, WILLIAMS ST (2008) Mangrove-assocated lucinid bivalves of the central Indo-West Pacific: review of the "Austriella" group with a new genus and species (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Lucinidae). The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 18 : 25 - 40.

TAYLOR JD, GLOVER EA, WILLIAMS ST (2008) Ancient chemosynthetic bivalves: systematics of Solemyidae from eastern and southern Australia (Mollusca: Bivalvia). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum — Nature Brisbane.. , Davie PJF, Phillips JA, Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay, Queensland., pp. 75 - 104. Memoirs of Queensland Museum - Nature, 54(1).

WILLIAMS ST, Duda TF (2008) Did tectonic activity stimulate oligo-miocene speciation in the Indo-west Pacific?. Evolution, 62 (7): 1618 - 1634. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2008.00399.x

WILLIAMS ST (2008) The calcareous operculum as a character for defining subgenera in the marine gastropod genus Turbo. Vita Malacologica, 1 : 1 - 13.

WILLIAMS ST, Karube S, Ozawa Y (2008) Molecular systematics of Vetigastropoda: Trochidae, Turbinidae and Trochoidea redefined. Zoologica Scripta, 37 doi: 10.1111/j.1463-6409.2008.00341

WILLIAMS ST (2007) Safe and legal shipment of tissue samples: does it affect DNA quality?. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 73 (4): 416 - 418. doi: 10.1093/mollus/eym039

TAYLOR JD, WILLIAMS ST, GLOVER EA (2007) Evolutionary relationships of the bivalve family Thyasiridae (Mollusca: Bivalvia), monophyly and superfamily status. Journal of the Marine Biological Association UK, 87 : 565 - 574.

TAYLOR J, WILLIAMS ST, GLOVER EA, DYAL P (2007) A molecular phylogeny of heterodont bivalves (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Heterodonta): new analyses of 18S and 28S rRNA genes. Zoologica Scripta, 36 : 587 - 606.

Vermeij G, WILLIAMS S (2007) Predation and the geography of opercular thickness in turbinid gastropods. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 73 : 67 - 73.

WILLIAMS ST (2007) Origins and diversification of Indo-West Pacific marine fauna: evolutionary history and biogeography of turban shells (Gastropoda: Turbinidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 92 (3): 573 - 592. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2007.00854.x

REID DG, LAL K, MACKENZIE-DODDS J, Kaligis F, LITTLEWOOD DTJ, WILLIAMS ST (2006) Comparative phylogeography and species boundaries in Echinolittorina snails in the central Indo-Pacific. Journal of Biogeography, 33 (6): 990 - 1006. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2006.01469.x

WILLIAMS ST, Ozawa T (2006) Molecular phylogeny suggests polyphyly of both the turban shells (family Turbinidae) and the superfamily Trochoidea (Mollusca: Vetigastropoda). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 39 : 33 - 51.

TAYLOR JD, GLOVER EA, WILLIAMS ST (2005) Another bloody bivalve: anatomy and relationships of Eucrassatella donacina from south western Australia (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Crassatellidae). , Wells FE, Walker DI, Kendrick GA, The marine Flora and Fauna of Esperance, Western Australia., pp. 261 - 288. Western Australian Museum. Perth.

REID DG, WILLIAMS ST (2004) The subfamily Littorininae (Gastropoda: Littorinidae) in the temperate southern hemisphere: The genera Nodilittorina, Austrolittorina and Afrolittorina. Records of the Australian Museum, 56 : 75 - 122.

WILLIAMS ST, REID DG (2004) Speciation and diversity on tropical rocky shores: a global phylogeny of snails of the genus Echinolittorina. Evolution, 58 : 2227 - 2251. doi: 10.1554/03-565

WILLIAMS ST, TAYLOR JD, GLOVER EA (2004) Molecular phylogeny of the Lucinoidea (Bivalvia): non-monophyl and separate acquisition of bacterial chemosymbiosis. Journal of Molecular Studies, 70 : 187 - 202.

WILLIAMS ST, REID DG, LITTLEWOOD DTJ (2003) A molecular phylogeny of the Littorininae (Gastropoda: Littorinidae): unequal evolutionary rates, morphological parallelism and biogeography of the Southern Ocean. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 23 (1): 60 - 86. doi: 10.1016/S1055-7903(03)00038-1

WILLIAMS ST, Jara JA, Gomez E, Knowlton N (2003) The marine Indo-West Pacific break: contrasting the resolving power of mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 42 : 941 - 952.

Williams S, Reid D, Littlewood T (2001) Nodilittorina (periwinkles) - a model for Indo-Pacific biogeography.. AMERICAN ZOOLOGIST, 41 (6): 1626 - 1626.

Williams ST, Knowlton N (2001) Mitochondrial pseudogenes are pervasive and often insidious in the snapping shrimp genus Alpheus. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 18 (8): 1484 - 1493.

Williams ST, Knowlton N, Weigt LA, Jara JA (2001) Evidence for three major clades within the snapping shrimp genus Alpheus inferred from nuclear (GPI and EF-1α) and mitochondrial (COI) sequence data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 20 (3): 375 - 389.

Williams ST (2000) Species boundaries in the starfish genus Linckia. Marine Biology, 136 (1): 137 - 148. doi: 10.1007/s002270050016

Williams ST, Knowlton N, Weigt LA (1999) Indo-Pacific molecular biogeography of the coral-dwelling snapping shrimp Alpheus lottini (Decapoda: Caridea: Alpheidae).. , Sheppard CRC, Seaward MRD, Ecology of the Chagos Archipelago., pp. 195 - 206. Linnean Society Occasional Publications 2, Westbury Press. London.

Benzie JAH, Williams ST (1998) Phylogenetic relationships among giant clam species (Mollusca: Tridacnidae) determined by protein electrophoresis. Marine Biology, 132 (1): 123 - 133. doi: 10.1007/s002270050378

Williams ST, Benzie JAH (1998) Evidence of a biogeographic break between populations of a high dispersal starfish, congruent regions within the Indo-West Pacific defined by colour morphs, mtDNA and allozyme data. Evolution, 52 : 87 - 99.

Williams ST, Benzie JAH (1997) Indo-West Pacific patterns of genetic differentiation in the high-dispersal starfish Linckia laevigata. Molecular Ecology, 6 (6): 559 - 573. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-294X.1997.00221.x

Benzie JAH, Williams ST (1997) Genetic structure of giant clam (Tridacna maxima) populations in the West Pacific is not consistent with dispersal by present-day ocean currents. Evolution, 51 : 768 - 783.

Benzie JAH, Williams ST (1996) Limitations in the genetic variation of hatchery produced batches of the giant clam, Tridacna gigas. Aquaculture, 139 : 225 - 241. doi: 10.1016/0044-8486(95)01171-4

Williams ST, Benzie JAH (1996) Genetic uniformity of widely separated populations of the coral reef starfishLinckia laevigata from the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans, revealed by allozyme electrophoresis. Marine Biology, 126 (1): 99 - 107. doi: 10.1007/BF00571381

Benzie JAH, Williams ST (1995) Gene flow among giant clam (Tridacna gigas) populations in Pacific does not parallel ocean circulation. Marine Biology, 123 (4): 781 - 787. doi: 10.1007/BF00349121

Williams ST, Benzie JAH (1993) Genetic consequences of long larval life in the starfish Linckia laevigata (Echinodermata: Asteroidea) on the Great Barrier Reef. Marine Biology, 117 (1): 71 - 77. doi: 10.1007/BF00346427

Benzie JAH, Williams ST (1992) Genetic structure of giant clam (Tridacna maxima) populations from reefs in the Western Coral Sea. Coral Reefs, 11 (3): 135 - 141. doi: 10.1007/BF00255467

Benzie JAH, Williams ST (1992) No genetic differentiation of giant clam (Tridacna gigas) populations in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Marine Biology, 113 (3): 373 - 377. doi: 10.1007/BF00349161

Macaranas JM, Ablan CA, Pante MJR, Benzie JAH, Williams ST (1992) Genetic structure of giant clam (Tridacna derasa) populations from reefs in the Indo-Pacific. Marine Biology, 113 : 231 - 238.

Highlighted publications

Cunha RL, Lima FP, Tenorio MJ, Ramos AA, Castilho R, et al (2014) Evolution at a Different Pace: Distinctive Phylogenetic Patterns of Cone Snails from Two Ancient Oceanic Archipelagos. Systematic Biology, 63 (6): 971 - 987. doi: 10.1093/sysbio/syu059

WILLIAMS ST, Smith LM, Herbert DG, Marshall B, Warén A, et al (2013) Cenozoic climate change and diversification on the continental shelf and slope: evolution of gastropod diversity in the family Solariellidae (Trochoidea). Ecology and Evolution, 3 (4): 887 - 917. doi: 10.1002/ece3.513

WILLIAMS ST, Apte D, Ozawa T, Kagilis F, Nakano T (2011) Speciation and dispersal along continental coastlines and island arcs in the Indo-West Pacific turbinid gastropod genus Lunella.. Evolution, 65 (6)doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01255.x

WILLIAMS ST, Duda TF (2008) Did tectonic activity stimulate oligo-miocene speciation in the Indo-west Pacific?. Evolution, 62 (7): 1618 - 1634. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2008.00399.x

Williams ST, Knowlton N (2001) Mitochondrial pseudogenes are pervasive and often insidious in the snapping shrimp genus Alpheus. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 18 (8): 1484 - 1493.