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Tyler Heist

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Malcolm Hill


Our goal is to better characterize the factors that facilitate the successful establishment and maintenance of clade G Symbiodinium in sponge hosts. To this end, we have pursued a transcriptomic study to examine the differential gene expression that occurs during symbiont loss and symbiont uptake. Furthermore, we have developed a model that will serve to better inform empirical studies about putative attributes that contribute to competitive advantages between different clades of Symbiodinium in particular hosts. Overall, this work will help not only increase our understanding of Symbioidinium relationships, which are of immense ecological significance, but also contribute to a greater grasp of issues that are important to all intracellular symbioses, such as host specialization.