Oct 2003 – present Scientific Researcher in Mollusca Section – permanent post.
Natural History Museum (London, UK). Promoted to Band 4 in 2004.
Jan 2001 – Sept 2003 Postdoctoral fellow – using species-level phylogeny of the periwinkle
genus Nodilittorina s.l. to detect geographical patterns of speciation.
Natural History Museum (London, UK)
Jun 1997 - Nov 2000 Postdoctoral fellow - Examining divergence and endemicity in the
world’s tropical oceans using snapping shrimp. Smithsonian
Tropical Research Institute (Panama)
Jul 1992 - Mar 1997 Ph.D. Population structure and evolution of the tropical starfish Linckia
laevigata. Australian Institute of Marine Science & James Cook
University (Townsville, Australia)
Nov 1989 - Jun 1992 Experimental scientist – biogeography and phylogeny of giant clams
(Tridacnidae). Australian Institute of Marine Science (Townsville)
A: Trochus sp., B: Linckia laevigata (Linnaeus, 1758), C: Turbo kenwilliamsi Williams, 2008 (previously T. pulcher Reeve, 1842). © S. T. Williams (Linckia)
1986 – 1988 Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry and Zoology)
University of Western Australia
1992 – 1997 Ph.D. “Population structure and evolution of the tropical starfish
Linckia laevigata”, Zoology Dept., James Cook University, Australia
My research focuses on using molecular techniques to determine the evolutionary relationships among species, to examine biogeographic patterns both at intra-specific and inter-specific levels, and to answer systematic questions. In particular I am interested in identifying the patterns and processes that contribute to the high levels of biodiversity within the tropical oceans.
The Indo-West Pacific is the largest of the marine biogeographic provinces and harbours some of the highest levels of biodiversity, especially of shallow water marine invertebrates. I am particularly interested in the origin of this diversity and the timing of its appearance. Specifically, which global, regional and local factors have been the most important in shaping the world’s marine diversity?
Current projects include using radiations within the ancient vetigastropod group to test theories about evolutionary responses to changes in temperature over geological timescales and the effect of tectonic movements on biogeographical patterns; the role of dietary specialisation within a shallow-water radiation of carnivorous muricid gastropods; and bivalve phylogeny, focussing on the chemosymbiotic family Lucinidae and ongoing molecular systematics of Trochoidea, with new work focussing on Solariellidae.
Read more about my projects on their dedicated research pages.