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Daniel J. Thornhill

Program Director, Biological Oceanography

Division of Ocean Sciences

National Science Foundation

4201 Wilson Blvd.

Arlington, VA 22230



PH: (703) 292-8143

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Ph.D., Ecology, University of Georgia at Athens. Thesis title: "Establishment and Maintenance of Cnidarian-Dinoflagellate Symbioses."


B.Sc., Zoology and Environmental Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.


National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, Ecology - University of Georgia at Athens.


Presidential Graduate Fellowship - University of Georgia at Athens.


Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology Pauley Program Fellow.


Barry M. Goldwater Fellowship.


National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Fellow.



Kemp, D.W., D.J. Thornhill, R.D. Rotjan, R. Igelsias-Prieto, W.K. Fitt, G.W. Schmidt. 2015. Spatially distinct and regionally endemic Symbiodinium assemblages in the threatened Caribbean reef-building coral Orbicella faveolata. Coral Reefs. (in press). Request Reprint



Li, Y., K.M. Kocot, C. Schander, S.R. Santos, D.J. Thornhill, K.M. Halanych. 2015. Mitogenomics reveals phylogeny and dramatic size variations of control regions in the deep-sea family Siboglinidae (Annelida). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 85:221-229. Request Reprint



Calado, R., M.C. Leal, M.C.M. Vaz, C. Brown, R. Rosa, T.C. Stevenson, C.H. Cooper, B.N. Tissot, Y.W. Li, D.J. Thornhill. 2014. Caught in the Act: how the U.S. Lacey Act can hamper the fight against cyanide fishing in tropical coral reefs. Conservation Letters. 7:561-564. Request Reprint



Fujita, R., D.J. Thornhill, K. Karr, C.H. Cooper, L.E. Dee. Assessing and managing ornamental fisheries in coral reefs. Fish and Fisheries. 15:661-675. Request Reprint



Thornhill, D.J., A.C. Lewis, D.F. Wham, T.C. LaJeunesse. 2014. Host-specialist lineages dominate the adaptive radiation of reef coral endosymbionts. Evolution. 68:352-367.Request Reprint



Dee L.E., S.S. Horii, D.J. Thornhill 2014. Management of the trade in ornamental coral-reef wildlife: successes, shortcomings, and future challenges. Biological Conservation. 169:225-237. Request Reprint



Thornhill, D.J., X. Yiang, D.T. Pettay, M. Zhong, S.R. Santos. 2013. Population genetic data of a model symbiotic cnidarian system reveal remarkable symbiotic specificity and vectored introductions across ocean basins. Molecular Ecology. 22:4499-4515. (Featured Perspectives article by Christian R. Voolstra) Request Reprint



Kirk, N.L., D.J. Thornhill, D.W. Kemp, W.K. Fitt, S.R. Santos. 2013. Ubiquitous associations and a peak fall prevalence between apicomplexan symbionts and reef corals in Florida and the Bahamas. Coral Reefs. 32:847-858. Request Reprint



Dimond, J.L., A.H. Kerwin, R. Rotjan, K. Sharp, F.J. Stewart, D.J. Thornhill. 2013. A simple temperature-based model predicts the upper latitudinal limit of the temperate coral Astrangia poculata. Coral Reefs. 32:401-409. Request Reprint



Thornhill, D.J., T.H. Struck, B. Ebbe, R.W. Lee, G.F. Mendoza, L.A. Levin, K.M. Halaynch. 2012. Adaptive radiation in extremophilic Dorvilleidae (Annelida): diversification of a single colonizer or multiple independent lineages? Ecology and Evolution. 2:1958-1970. Request Reprint



Thornhill, D.J. 2012. Ecological impacts and practices of the coral reef wildlife trade. Defenders of Wildlife, Washington, DC. 179 p. Request Reprint



LaJeunesse, T.C., D.J. Thornhill. 2011. Improved resolution of reef-coral endosymbiont (Symbiodinium) species diversity, ecology, and evolution through psbA non-coding region genotyping. PLoS One. 6:e29013. Request Reprint



Thornhill, D.J., R.D. Rotjan, B.D. Todd, G.C. Chilcoat, R. Iglesias-Prieto, D.W. Kemp, T.C. LaJeunesse, J. McCabe-Reynolds, G.W. Schmidt, T. Shannon, M.E. Warner, W.K. Fitt. 2011. A connection between colony biomass and death in Caribbean reef-building corals. PLoS One. 6:e29535. Request Reprint



Kemp, D.W., C.A. Oakely, D.J. Thornhill, L.A. Newcomb, G.W. Schmidt, W.K. Fitt. 2011. Catastrophic mortality on inshore coral reefs of the Florida Keys due to severe low-temperature stress. Global Change Biology. 17:3468-3477. Request Reprint



Roopin, M., D.J. Thornhill, S.R. Santos, N.E. Chadwick. 2011. Ammonia flux, physiological parameters, and Symbiodinium diversity in the anemonefish symbiosis on Red Sea coral reefs. Symbiosis. 53:63-74. Request Reprint



Hilário, A., M. Capa, T.G. Dahlgren, K.M. Halanych, C.T.S. Little, D.J. Thornhill, C. Verna, A.G. Glover. 2011. New perspectives on the ecology and evolution of siboglinid tubeworms. PLoS One. 6:e16309. Request Reprint



Thornhill, D.J., K. Doubleday, D.W. Kemp, S.R. Santos. 2010. Host hybridization alters specificity of cnidarian-dinoflagellate associations. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 420:113-123. Request Reprint



Thornhill, D.J., J.B. Lord. 2010. Secondary structure models for the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region 1 from symbiotic dinoflagellates. Protist. 161:434-451. Request Reprint



Thornhill, D.J., D.W. Kemp, E.M. Sampayo, G.W. Schmidt. 2010. Comparative analyses of amplicon migration behavior in differing denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) systems. Coral Reefs. 29:83-91. Request Reprint



Mahon, A.R., D.J. Thornhill, J.L. Norenburg, K.M. Halanych. 2010. DNA discovers missing Antarctic nemerteans and exposes a decades-old cold case of asymmetric inventory. Polar Biology. 33:193-202. Request Reprint



Thornhill, D.J., Y. Xiang, W.K. Fitt, S.R. Santos. 2009. Reef endemism, host specificity and temporal stability in populations of symbiotic dinoflagellates from two ecologically dominant Caribbean corals. PLoS One. 4:e6262. Featured Weekly Image in EveryOne, the PLoS One Community Blog Download article directly from PLoS One website



Simon, C., D.J. Thornhill, F. Oyarzun, K.M. Halanych. 2009. Genetic similarity between Boccardia proboscidea from western North American and the cultured abalone, Haliotis midae, in South Africa. Aquaculture. 294:18-24. Request Reprint



Thornhill, D.J., T.G. Dahlgren, K.M. Halanych. 2009. The evolution and ecology of Ophryotrocha (Dorvilleidae, Eunicida). Chapter 13; Pp. 242-256, In: Shain, D.H., Ed., Annelids as Model Systems in the Biological Sciences. John Wiley & Son. Request Reprint



Correa, A.M.S., M.E. Brandt, T.B. Smith, D.J. Thornhill, A.C. Baker. 2009. Symbiodinium associations within diseased and healthy corals. Coral Reefs. 28:437-448. Request Reprint



Thornhill, D.J., A.R. Mahon, J.L. Norenburg, K.M. Halanych. 2008. Open-ocean barriers to dispersal: a test case with the Antarctic Polar Front and the ribbon worm Parborlasia corrugatus (Nemertea: Lineidae). Molecular Ecology. 17:5104-5117.  PDF  Supplementary Materials



Thornhill, D.J., K.T. Fielman, S.R. Santos, K.M. Halanych. 2008. Siboglinid-bacteria endosymbiosis: A model system for studying symbiotic mechanisms. Communicative & Integrative Biology. 1:1-4.  PDF 



Thornhill, D.J., D.W. Kemp, B.U. Bruns, W.K. Fitt, G.W. Schmidt. 2008. Correspondence between cold tolerance and temperate biogeography in a western Atlantic Symbiodinium (Dinophyta) lineage. Journal of Phycology. 44:1126-1135.   PDF 



Thornhill, D.J., A.A. Wiley, A.L. Campbell, F.F. Bartol, A. Teske, K.M. Halanych. 2008. Endosymbionts of Siboglinum fiordicum and the phylogeny of Siboglinidae (Annelida) endosymbionts. The Biological Bulletin. 214:135-144. PDF



Thornhill, D.J., T.C. LaJeunesse, S.R. Santos. 2007. Measuring rDNA diversity in eukaryotic microbial systems: How intragenomic variation, pseudogenes, and PCR artifacts confound biodiversity estimates. Molecular Ecology. 16:5326-5340.  PDF  Supplementary Materials  Download datasets



Thornhill, D.J., W.K. Fitt, G.W. Schmidt. 2006. Highly stable symbioses among western Atlantic brooding corals. Coral Reefs. 25:515-519. PDF



Thornhill, D.J., M.W. Daniel, T.C. LaJeunesse, W.K. Fitt, G.W. Schmidt. 2006. Natural infections of aposymbiotic Cassiopea xamachana from environmental pools of Symbiodinium. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 338:50-56. PDF



Thornhill, D.J., T.C. LaJeunesse, D.W. Kemp, W.K. Fitt, G.W. Schmidt. 2006. Multi-year, seasonal genotypic surveys of coral-algal symbioses reveal prevalent stability or post-bleaching reversion. Marine Biology. 148:711-722. PDF



Rotjan, R.D., J.L. Dimond, D.J. Thornhill, D.W. Kemp, B. Helmuth, J. Leichter, S.M. Lewis. 2006. Chronic fish grazing slows recovery after bleaching. Coral Reefs. 25:361-368. PDF



Dove, S., J.C. Ortiz, S. Enriquez, M. Fine, P. Fisher, R. Igelsias-Prieto, D.J. Thornhill, O. Hoegh-Guldberg. 2006. Response of holosymbiont pigments from the scleractinian coral Montipora monasteriata to short term heat stress. Limnology & Oceanography. 51:1149-1158. PDF



Todd, B.D., D.J. Thornhill, W.K. Fitt. 2006. Patterns of inorganic phosphate uptake in Cassiopea xamachana: a bioindicator species. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 52:515-521. PDF



LaJeunesse, T.C., D.J. Thornhill, E.F. Cox, F.G. Stanton, W.K. Fitt, G.W. Schmidt. 2004. High diversity and host specificity observed among symbiotic dinoflagellates in reef coral communities from Hawaii. Coral Reefs. 23:596-603. PDF



Valone, T.J., D.J. Thornhill. 2001. Mesquite establishment in arid grasslands: an experimental investigation of the role of kangaroo rats. Journal of Arid Environments. 48:281-288. PDF


Thornhill, D.J., S.R. Santos. Population genetic structure of symbiotic dinoflagellates associated with Caribbean reef-building corals, Montastraea annularis and M. faveolata. Talk: 2009 SICB Meetings (Boston, MA). PDF (Abstract)


Levin, L.A., W. Ziebis, G. Mendoza, D.J. Thornhill, K.M. Halanych, R. Lee, T. Washington, A. Thurber. Dorvilleidae at methane seeps: a model for understanding diversity on the continental margin. American Society of Limnology and Oceanography 2008 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Orlando, FL, USA.


Santos, S.R., R.L. Hunter, D.J. Thornhill. Invited Talk: The ecology and evolution of symbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium, Dinophyta) on tropical coral reefs. 60th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Branch - American Society for Microbiology. Auburn, Alabama. PDF (Slides)


Thornhill, D.J., A.A. Wiley, A.L. Campbell, F.F. Bartol, A. Testke, K.M. Halanych. Endosymbionts of Siboglinum fiordicum and the Phylogeny Bacterial Endosymbionts in Siboglinidae (Annelida). 60th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Branch of the American Society for Microbiology, Auburn, AL, USA.


Thornhill D.J., T.C. LaJeunesse, G.W. Schmidt, W.K. Fitt. Change and Stability of Symbiotic Dinoflagellates in Reef Building Corals. 10th Int. Coral Reef Symp., Okinawa, Japan.


Thornhill, D.J., T.C. LaJeunesse, W.K. Fitt, G.W. Schmidt. Change and Stability of Symbiotic Dinoflagellates in Reef Building Corals. 7th Int. Conf. on Coelenterate Biol., Lawrence, KS, USA.


Thornhill, D.J., T.C. LaJeunesse, G. Chilcoat, T. Shannon, W.K. Fitt. Physiological attributes of coral tissue over time: seasons and years. 7th Int. Conf. on Coelenterate Biol., Lawrence, KS, USA.

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