Dr Suzanne Williams

Collecting littorinids
  • Researcher
  • Life Sciences department
  • Invertebrates
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London
SW7 5BD

Biography

Employment history

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)

 

Trochus sp., Linckia laevigata, Turbo kenwilliamsi

A: Trochus sp., B: Linckia laevigata (Linnaeus, 1758), C: Turbo kenwilliamsi Williams, 2008 (previously T. pulcher Reeve, 1842). © S. T. Williams (Linckia)

 

Qualifications

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

Research

Research Interests

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.

Publications

2014
  • Bowen, B. W., K. Shanker, N. Yasuda, M. C. D. Malay, S. von der Heyden, G. Paulay, L. A. Rocha, K. A. Selkoe, P. H Barber, S. T. WILLIAMS, H. A. Lessios, E. D. Crandall, G. Bernardi, C. P. Meyer, K. E. Carpenter, R. J. Toonen. ( 2014 ) Phylogeography unplugged: comparative geographic surveys in the genomic era. Bulletin of Marine Science 90 : 13-46 . http://dx.doi.org/10.5343/bms.2013.1007
  • Helwerda, R. A., F. P. Wesselingh and S. T. WILLIAMS ( 2014 ) Vetigastropoda (Mollusca, Gastropoda) from the Plio-Pleistocene of the Philippines Zootaxa 3755(2) : 101-135 . 10.11646/zootaxa.3755.2.1
  • Taylor, J. D., Glover, E. and S. T. WILLIAMS. ( 2014 ) Diversification of chemosymbiotic bivalves: origins and relationships of deeper water Lucinidae. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 111 : 401-420 . http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bij.12208
  • Vilvens, C., S. T. WILLIAMS and D. G. Herbert ( 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 : 255-281 . http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3826.1.8
  • WILLIAMS, S.T., P.G. Foster, D.T.J. Littlewood ( 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 : 38-47 . 10.1016/j.gene.2013.10.005
2013
  • R. Lasota, J. Wenelczyk, S.T. WILLIAMS and M. Wolowicz ( 2013 ) Fast and easy method for total DNA extraction and gene amplification from larvae and adult mussels Mytilus trossulus from the Baltic Sea. Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies 42 : 486-489 . 10.2478/s13545-013-0105-8
  • Taylor, J.D., Glover, E. and S.T. WILLIAMS ( 2013 ) Taxonomy and phylogeny of Western Atlantic Lucinidae: new genus for Lucina costata d’Orbigny, 1845, a new species of Ferrocina and neotype designation for Venus orbiculata (Montagu, 1808). Nautilus 127 : 131-146 .
  • WILLIAMS, S. T., Smith, L., Herbert, D. Marshall, B., Warén, A., Kiel, S., Dyal, P., Linse, K., Vilvens, C., and Y. Kano. ( 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 : 887 - 917 . doi:10.1002/ece3.513
  • WILLIAMS, ST. ( 2013 ) Margarellinae: a new calliostomatid subfamily. Zoologica Scripta 42 : 227 . doi: 10.1111/j.1463-6409.2012.00566.x
2012
  • Claremont, M. D. G. Reid and S. T. WILLIAMS ( 2012 ) Speciation and dietary specialization in Drupa, a genus of predatory marine snails (Gastropoda:
    Muricidae) Zoological Scripta 41 : 137-149 . 10.1111/j.1463-6409.2011.00512.x
  • Claremont, M., Houart, R., WILLIAMS ST. and Reid, DG. ( 2012 ) A molecular framework for the Ergalataxinae (Neogastropoda: Muricidae). Journal of Molluscan Studies 79 : 19 - 29 . doi:10.1093/mollus/eys028
  • Claremont, M., Vermeij, GJ., WILLIAMS ST., and Reid, DG. ( 2012 )  Global phylogeny and new classification of the Rapaninae (Gastropoda: Muricidae), dominant molluscan predators in the tropical rocky intertidal. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 66 : 91-102 . doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2012.09.014
  • Donald, K. M., J. Preston, S. T. WILLIAMS, D. G. Reid, D. Winter, R.
    Alvarez, B. Buge, S. J. Hawkins, J. Templado, and H. G. Spencer ( 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 : 33-45 . DOI:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.09.002
  • Reid, D.G., P. Dyal and S. T. WILLIAMS ( 2012 ) A global molecular phylogeny of 147 periwinkle species (Gastropoda: Littorininae) Zoological Scripta 41 : 125-136 . DOI: 10.1111/j.1463-6409.2011.00505.x
  • WILLIAMS, S. T., A. Hall and P. Kuklinski ( 2012 ) Unravelling cryptic diversity in the Indo-West Pacific gastropod genus Lunella (Turbinidae) using elliptic Fourier analysis. American Malacological Bulletin 30 : 189-206 . DOI: 10.4003/006.030.0117
  • WILLIAMS, ST. ( 2012 ) Advances in molecular systematics of the gastropod superfamily Trochoidea.   Zoologica Scripta 41 : 571 – 595 . doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2012.00552.x
2011
  • Claremont, M. D. G. Reid and S. T. WILLIAMS. ( 2011 ) Evolution of corallivory in the gastropod genus Drupella Coral Reefs 30 : 977-990 . 10.1007/s00338-011-0788-5
  • Claremont, M., S. T. WILLIAMS, T. Barraclough and D. G. Reid. ( 2011 ) The geographic scale of speciation in a marine snail with high potential dispersal. Journal of Biogeography 38 : 1016-1032 . Journal of Biogeography | 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2011.02482.x
  • Taylor, J. D., E. A. Glover, P. Dyal, and S. T. WILLIAMS. ( 2011 ) Molecular phylogeny and classification of the chemosymbiotic bivalve family Lucinidae Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 163 : 15-49 . 10.1111/j.1096-3642.2011.00700.x
  • WILLIAMS, S. T., D. Apte, T. Ozawa, F. Kagilis & T. Nakano ( 2011 ) Speciation and dispersal along continental coastlines and island arcs in the Indo-West Pacific turbinid gastropod genus Lunella. Evolution 65 : 1752-1771 . 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01255.x
2010
  • Barco, A., Claremont, M., Reid, D. G., Houart, R., Bouchet, P., WILLIAMS, S.
    T.
    , Cruaud, C., Couloux, A. and Oliverio, M.
    ( 2010 ) A molecular phylogenetic framework for the Muricidae, a diverse family of carnivorous gastropods Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56 : 1025-1039 . 10.1016/j.ympev.2010.03.008
  • Reid, D.G., P. Dyal and S. T. WILLIAMS   ( 2010 ) Global diversification of mangrove fauna: a molecular phylogeny of Littoraria (Gastropoda:Littorinidae) Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 55 : 185-201 . 10.1016/j.ympev.2009.09.036
  • WILLIAMS, S. T., K. M. Donald, H. G. Spencer and T. Nakano  
    ( 2010 ) Molecular systematics of the marine gastropod families Trochidae and Calliostomatidae (Mollusca: Superfamily Trochoidea) Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 54 : 783-809 . 10.1016/j.ympev.2009.11.008
2009
  • Taylor, J. D., E. A. Glover and S. T. WILLIAMS   ( 2009 ) Phylogenetic position of the bivalve family Cyrenoididae – removal from   (and further dismantling of) the superfamily Lucinoidea. Nautilus 123 (1) : 9-13 .
2008
  • Claremont, M., D.G. Reid and S. T. WILLIAMS ( 2008 ) A molecular phylogeny of the Rapaninae and Ergalataxinae (Neogastropoda: Muricidae) Journal of Molluscan Studies 74 : 215-221 .
  • Glover, E. A., J. D. Taylor, and S. T. WILLIAMS ( 2008 ) Mangrove-associated lucinid bivalves of the central Indo-West Pacific: review of the “Austriella” group with a new genus and species (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Lucinidae) Raffles Museum Bulletin of Zoology S18 : 25-40 .
  • Reid, D.G., P. Dyal, P. Lozouet, M. Glaubrecht and S. T. WILLIAMS ( 2008 ) Mudwhelks and mangroves: the evolutionary history of an ecological association (Gastropoda: Potamididae) Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 47 : 680-699 .
  • Taylor, J.D., E.A. Glover & S. T. WILLIAMS ( 2008 ) Ancient chemosynthetic bivalves: systematics of Solemyidae from eastern and southern Australia (Mollusca: Bivalvia). In, Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. (Eds), Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay, Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum — Nature 54(1) : 75–104. Brisbane .
  • WILLIAMS, S. T. ( 2008 ) The calcareous operculum as a character for defining subgenera in the marine gastropod genus Turbo Vita Malacologica 7 : 1-13 .
  • WILLIAMS, S. T. and T. F. Duda    ( 2008 ) Did tectonic activity stimulate speciation in the Oligo-Miocene Indo-West Pacific? Evolution 62 : 1618-1634 .
  • WILLIAMS, S. T., S. Karube and T. Ozawa ( 2008 ) Molecular systematics of Vetigastropoda: Trochidae, Turbinidae and Trochoidea redefined Zoologica Scripta 37 : 483-506 .
2007
  • Taylor, J. D., S. T. WILLIAMS and E. A. Glover     ( 2007 ) Evolutionary relationships of the bivalve family Thyasiridae (Mollusca: Bivalvia), monophyly and superfamily status Journal Marine Biological Association 87(2) : 565-574 .
  • Taylor, J. D., S. T. WILLIAMS, E. A. Glover and P. Dyal    ( 2007 ) A molecular phylogeny of heterodont bivalves (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Heterodonta): new analyses of 18S rRNA and 28S rRNA genes Zoologica Scripta 36 : 587-606 .
  • Vermeij, G. and S. T. WILLIAMS   ( 2007 ) Predation and the geography of opercular thickness in turbinid gastropods Journal of Molluscan Studies J73(1) : 67-73 .
  • WILLIAMS, S. T. ( 2007 ) Safe and legal shipment of tissue samples: does it affect dna quality? Journal of Molluscan Studies 73(4) : 416-418 .
  • WILLIAMS, S. T.     ( 2007 ) Origins and diversification of the Indo-West Pacific fauna: evolutionary history and biogeography of turban shells (Gastropoda, Turbinidae) Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 92 : 573-592 .
2006
  • Reid, D. G., Lal, K., MacKenzie-Dodds, J., Kaligis, F., Littlewood, D. T. and S. T. WILLIAMS   ( 2006 ) Comparative phylogeography and species boundaries in Echinolittorina snails in the central Indo-West Pacific Journal of Biogeography 33 : 990-1006 .
  • WILLIAMS, S. T. and T. Ozawa   ( 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 .
2005
  • Taylor, J. D., E. A. Glover and S.T. WILLIAMS      ( 2005 ) Another bloody bivalve: anatomy and relationships of Eucrassatella donacina from south western Australia (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Crassatellidae), In: F. E. Wells, D. I. Walker & G. E. Kendrick (eds) The marine flora and fauna of Esperance . West Australian Museum, Perth : Western Australia , 261-288 .
2004
  • Reid, D.G. and S.T. WILLIAMS   ( 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, S.T and D.G. Reid    ( 2004 ) Speciation and diversity on tropical rocky shores: a global phylogeny of snails of the genus Echinolittorina Evolution 58 : 2227-2251 .
  • WILLIAMS, S.T., J.D. Taylor and E.A. Glover ( 2004 ) Molecular phylogeny of the Lucinoidea (Bivalvia): non-monophyly and separate acquisition of bacterial chemosymbiosis  Journal of Molluscan Studies 70 : 187-202 .
2003
  • WILLIAMS, S.T., D.G. Reid and D.T.J. Littlewood    ( 2003 ) A molecular phylogeny of the Littorininae (Gastropoda: Littorinidae): unequal evolutionary rates, morphological parallelism and biogeography of the Southern Ocean Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 28 : 60–86 .
2002
  • WILLIAMS S.T., J.A. Jara, E Gomez and N Knowlton     ( 2002 ) The marine Indo-West Pacific break: contrasting the resolving power of mitochondrial and nuclear genes Integrative and Comparative Biology 42 : 941-952 .
2001
  • WILLIAMS S.T., N. Knowlton ( 2001 ) Mitochondrial pseudogenes are pervasive and often insidious in the snapping shrimp genus Alpheus Molecular Biology and Evolution 18 (8) : 1484-1493 .
  • WILLIAMS S.T., N. Knowlton, L.A. Weigt, J.A. Jara   ( 2001 ) Evidence for three major clades within the snapping shrimp genus Alpheus inferred from nuclear (GPI and EF-1a) and mitochondrial (COI) sequence data Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 20 (3) : 375-89 .
2000
  • WILLIAMS S.T. ( 2000 ) Species boundaries in the starfish genus Linckia Marine Biology 136 : 137-148 .
1999
  • WILLIAMS S.T., N. Knowlton, L.A. Weigt ( 1999 ) Indo-Pacific molecular biogeography of the coral-dwelling snapping shrimp Alpheus lottini (Decapoda: Caridea: Alpheidae). Pp 195-206, In: Sheppard CRC, Seaward MRD (eds.) Ecology of the Chagos Archipelago . Linnean Society Occasional Publications 2, Westbury Press .
1998
  • Benzie J.A.H., S.T. WILLIAMS   ( 1998 ) Phylogenetic relationships among giant clam species (Mollusca: Tridacnidae) determined by protein electrophoresis Marine Biology 132 : 123-133 .
  • WILLIAMS S.T., J.A.H. Benzie   ( 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 .
1997
  • Benzie J.A.H., S.T. WILLIAMS    ( 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 .
  • WILLIAMS S.T., J.A.H. Benzie    ( 1997 ) Indo-West Pacific patterns of differentiation in the high-dispersal starfish Linckia laevigata Molecular Ecology 6 : 559-573 .
1996
  • Benzie J.A.H., S.T. WILLIAMS   ( 1996 ) Limitations in the genetic variation of hatchery produced batches of the giant clam Tridacna gigas. Aquaculture 139 : 225-241 .
  • WILLIAMS S.T., J.A.H. Benzie     ( 1996 ) Genetic uniformity of widely separated populations of the coral reef starfish Linckia laevigata from the West Pacific and East Indian Oceans, revealed by allozyme electrophoresis Marine Biology 126 : 99-108 .
1995
  • Benzie J.A.H., S.T. WILLIAMS   ( 1995 ) Gene flow among giant clam (Tridacna gigas) populations in the Pacific does not parallel ocean circulation Marine Biology 123 : 781-788 .
1993
  • Benzie J.A.H., S.T. WILLIAMS, JM Macaranas    ( 1993 ) Allozyme electrophoretic methods for analysing genetic variation in giant clams (Tridacnidae), In: ACIAR technical report, 50 pp . .
  • WILLIAMS S.T., JAH Benzie   ( 1993 ) Genetic consequences of long larval life in the starfish, Linckia laevigata, (Echinodermata; Asteroidea) on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia Marine Biology 117 : 71-77 .
1992
  • Benzie J.A.H., S.T. WILLIAMS   ( 1992 ) No genetic differentiation of giant clam (Tridacna gigas) in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia Marine Biology 113 : 373-378 .
  • Benzie J.A.H., S.T. WILLIAMS    ( 1992 ) Genetic structure of giant clam (Tridacna maxima) populations from reefs in the Western Coral Sea Coral Reefs 11 : 135-141 .
  • Macaranas J.M., C.A. Ablan, Ma.J.R. Pante, J.A.H. Benzie, S.T. WILLIAMS    ( 1992 ) Genetic structure of giant clam (Tridacna derasa) populations from reefs in the Indo-Pacific Marine Biology 113 : 231-238 .
  • WILLIAMS S.T. ( 1992 ) Methods for analysis of genetic variation in the blue starfish, Linckia laevigata, using allozyme electrophoresis, In: Australian Institute of Marine Science Report no.6 . .