»  Isabella Kappner

Isabella Kappner

Post Doctoral Fellow
Phone: (212) 769-7622
Email: ikappner@amnh.org

Professional history:

I received my MSc degree (Dipl. Biol.) in Marine Biology in 1999 from the University of Bremen, Germany were I studied autecology and behaviour of wormsnails. In 2007 I received my PhD in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Illinois at Chicago. My thesis focused on Venus clam systematics, taxonomy, morphometrics and phylogeography. In 2008 I was lecturer and coordinator at UIC and adjunct faculty at U of St. Francis. Since November 2008 I am a Lerner-Gray Postdoctoral Fellow at the AMNH working on sex-associated mitochondrial heteroplasmy in marine bivalves.

Current Projects:

  • Investigating sex-associated mitochondrial heteroplasmy (doubly uniparental inheritance = DUI) in marine bivalves
    • Molecular evolution of DUI in bivalves
    • Mitogenomics of DUI
  • Early development of bivalve embryos and segregation of male mitochondria
  • Systematics and Taxonomy of Veneridae
    •  Systematics of bivalve subfamily Tapetinae

Scientific Accomplishments :

  • 2008 and 2007 University of Illinois at Chicago Award for excellence in teaching
  • 2007, 2006 and 2005 University of Illinois at Chicago Award for excellence in research
  • 2005, 2004 and 2002 University of Illinois at Chicago Travel Award
  • 2005 and 2002 Conchologists of America Student Grant - Fieldwork support
  • 2005 Walter Sage Memorial Grant Award for excellence in research
  • 2003-2004 Lester Armour Graduate Fellowship support for 1 year, The Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL
  • 2003 UIC Provost Award for Graduate Research.
  • 2003 Marshall Field Fund - Fieldwork support from Field Museum's Zoology Department
  • 2001 Delaware Museum of Natural History Graduate Student Scholarship in Malacology for project on Venerinae systematics


  • Kappner I. 2007. Phylogenetic systematics of the marine bivalve subfamily Venerinae Rafinesque, 1815. Ph.D. thesis, University of Illinois at Chicago, 546 p.
  • Kappner I. and R. Bieler 2006. Venus clam phylogeny (Bivalvia: Venerinae) as inferred from nuclear and mitochondrial genes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40: 317-331.
  • Mikkelsen P.M., R. Bieler, I. Kappner, T.A. Rawlings 2006. Phylogeny of Veneroidea (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Heterodonta) based on morphology and molecules. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 148:439-521.
  • Bieler, R., Kappner, I., Mikkelsen, P.M. 2004. Periglypta listeri (Gray, 1838) in the western Atlantic: taxonomy, anatomy, life habits, and distribution (Bivalvia: Veneridae). Malacologia 46(2): 427-459.
  • Kappner I., Al-Moghrabi S.M., Richter C. 2000 Mucus-net feeding by the vermetid gastropod Dendropoma maxima in coral reefs. Marine Ecology Progress Series 204: 309-313.
  •  Kappner I. 1998 Spatial distribution, population structure and feeding behavior of the worm-snail Dendropoma maxima (Gastropoda, Vermetidae) in the Gulf of Aqaba; Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT), Bremen, Germany, M.Sc. Dissertation, University of Bremen, Germany