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Dan Distel

Dan Distel

Research Professor

Mailing Address:

MSC (Marine Science Center), Nahant, MA 01908

Office Address:

430 Nahant Rd Nahant, MA 01908

Dr. Daniel Distel received his BS in Biology from Rutgers University, NJ and his PhD in Marine Biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD. He is currently the Director of the Ocean Genome Legacy Center (OGL), a nonprofit marine research facility and genome bank located at Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center. Dr. Distel studies the evolution, physiological ecology, genomics, and metabolism of marine bacteria and bacteria-animal symbioses, with a focus on symbioses between bacteria and bivalve mollusks. Most recently, Dr. Distel and his colleagues have described two new species of shipworms, with unique symbionts, digestive strategies and habitats. As Director of OGL, Dr. Distel and his team operate the nation’s first marine-dedicated public access DNA bank and research laboratory. Dr. Distel’s longstanding interest in genomic biodiversity conservation, and in the promotion of marine genomic research, aligns with OGL’s mission of exploring and preserving the threatened biological diversity of the sea. “We know that species are disappearing from the oceans at an alarming rate, and so much of what’s underwater remains a mystery to us; it would be a shame if all of that biological diversity that we know is out there would disappear before we even had a chance to name all those species.” – Dr. Distel

Dan Distel in the news

Northeastern divers combed Cozumel’s coral species

A massive Nassau grouper, four species of black corals, and a spotted drum fish were among the aquatic treasures Northeastern divers found on their expedition to Cozumel, Mexico. The trip laid the groundwork for Northeastern students and researchers to plan future expeditions to Cozumel to collect samples for the Ocean Genome Legacy, a repository built to preserve species that may one day go extinct.