BSC graduate student Meghan Yap-Chiongco awarded best poster at SEEC

Congratulations to Meghan Yap-Chiongco for winning Best Poster at the 2019 Southeastern Ecology and Evolution Conference in Auburn, AL! Meghan is a Ph.D. student in the Kocot lab. Her dissertation research is focused on biomineralization in Mollusca. Most studies on molluscan biomineralized structures have focused on conchiferan (e.g., snail or bivalve) shells. Aplacophorans are from the other branch of the molluscan tree and unlike most other molluscs, they lack shells. Instead, aplacophorans are covered in a flexible coat of armor made of calcareous scales or spines called sclerites. Meghan is using genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and gene expression experiments to understand how aplacophoran sclerites are formed, if they are formed using homologs of genes used in shell formation in other molluscs, and what the ancestral molluscan biomineralization toolkit looked like.