Sebastian Engel

Learn More
During recent decades, many tropical reefs have transitioned from coral to macroalgal dominance. These community shifts increase the frequency of algal-coral interactions and may suppress coral recovery following both anthropogenic and natural disturbance. However, the extent to which macroalgae damage corals directly, the mechanisms involved, and the(More)
Despite their high nutritional value and a lack of physical defenses, most marine sponges appear to be minimally affected by predators, competitors, and fouling organisms, possibly due to sponge chemical defenses. In the last 15 years, several triterpene glycosides have been isolated from sponges, but their ecological or physiological roles are largely(More)
Maintaining coral reef resilience against increasing anthropogenic disturbance is critical for effective reef management. Resilience is partially determined by how processes, such as herbivory and nutrient supply, affect coral recovery versus macroalgal proliferation following disturbances. However, the relative effects of herbivory versus nutrient(More)
Because marine animals and plants are continuously exposed to a large diversity of potentially harmful microorganisms, it seems reasonable to hypothesize that potential hosts might produce bioactive compounds to deter microbial attack. However, little is known about how host metabolites may defend against harmful microbes or facilitate the growth or(More)
Two novel alpha-pyrone macrolides, neurymenolides A (1) and B (2), were isolated from the Fijian red alga Neurymenia fraxinifolia and characterized using a combination of NMR and mass spectral analyses. These molecules represent only the second example of alpha-pyrone macrolides, with 1 existing as interchanging atropisomers due to restricted rotation about(More)
Bioassay-guided fractionation of extracts from a Fijian red alga in the genus Callophycus resulted in the isolation of five new compounds of the diterpene-benzoate class. Bromophycoic acids A-E (1-5) were characterized by NMR and mass spectroscopic analyses and represent two novel carbon skeletons, one with an unusual proposed biosynthesis. These compounds(More)
BACKGROUND The human malaria parasite remains a burden in developing nations. It is responsible for up to one million deaths a year, a number that could rise due to increasing multi-drug resistance to all antimalarial drugs currently available. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the discovery of new drug therapies. Recently, our laboratory developed a(More)
Bioactivity-guided fractionation of the extract from a Fijian red alga Peyssonnelia sp. led to the isolation of two novel sterol glycosides 19-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-19-hydroxy-cholest-4-en-3-one (1) and 19-O-β-d-N-acetyl-2-aminoglucopyranosyl-19-hydroxy-cholest-4-en-3-one (2), and two known alkaloids indole-3-carboxaldehyde (3) and 3-(hydroxyacetyl)indole(More)
Pharmacologically-motivated marine natural product investigations have yielded a large variety of structurally unique compounds with interesting biomedical properties, but the natural roles of these molecules often remain unknown. While secondary metabolites may function as antimicrobial chemical defenses, few studies have examined this hypothesis. In the(More)
Chemical cues regulate key ecological interactions in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. They are particularly important in terrestrial plant-herbivore interactions, where they mediate both herbivore foraging and plant defense. Although well described for terrestrial interactions, the identity and ecological importance of herbivore foraging cues in marine(More)