Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Bill J. Baker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

James W. Leahy, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jeffrey R. Raker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Lindsey N. Shaw, Ph.D.


drug discovery, ESKAPE, fungi, Mass Spectrometry, Natural Products, sponges


In the fight against disease and illness, nature has provided mankind some of our best therapeutics in the form of secondary metabolites. The plant, fungi and animal phyla inhabiting the Earth produce diverse and unique chemistry that can be used in our fight against disease. In the growing threat of drug resistance and pathogen evolution, the field of natural products chemistry strives to explore new biological and chemical diversity sources, and develop innovative methodology to identify and isolate new chemistry faster than ever.

The dissertation herein presented is one such effort to find new, bioactive chemistry from the marine environments. New biodiversity sources, from the tropical Floridian mangrove forests to the cold waters of the Antarctic oceans, were evaluated for the new, unique chemistry they produce. A large-scale screening of epigenetically modulated mangrove fungi was undertaken, producing a large, biologically and chemically diverse extract library. New methodology was developed in order to evaluate these extracts, leading to rapid identification and isolation of known and new bioactive metabolites. From the Southern Oceans, a collection of sponges was studied, and a new, highly unique peptide was isolated and characterized. These efforts were undertaken in the continued effort to isolate new, unique lead compounds.

Included in

Chemistry Commons