31 March 2007

MAM report

The 9th meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Malacologists was today at the Delaware Museum of Natural History (DMNH) in Wilmington, Delaware. Out of those 9 meetings I have been to (I think 7), this one was probably the longest and the best in terms of the variety and the quality of the talks. We started at 10 in the morning, took a lunch break for 1.5 hours and then had more talks until a little after 4 pm when the last talk ended.

Here are the speakers, in the order they spoke, and not-more-than-two sentence summaries of their talks.

Clement Counts talked about the life and times of the malacologist Melbourne "Mel" Carriker who died last month at age 92. Dr. Carriker had been a regular attendant at MAM meetings.

Marla Coppolino presented the initial findings from her surveys of the land snails of southern Illinois.

Colleen Sinclair's subject was the genetics of the land snail Ventridens ligera on Plummers Island in the Potomac River, while her student Gina Meletakos talked about her project of barcoding the species in the land snail genus Stenotrema.

Lillian Bloch's talk was about the species differentiation in the bivalve genus Transennella.

Gary Rosenberg discussed species naming curves and diversity patterns for marine mollusks.

Gary Rosenberg of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.

Alan Kohn talked about the systematics of the genus Conus, the most speciose (and probably the most poisonous) genus in the sea. More information is at the Conus Biodiversity website.

Daniel Graf discussed the unionid freshwater mussels of the Congo region in Africa.

When it was my turn, I talked about the smallest land snails. I will post more about that in the future.

Megan Paustian presented an outline of her Ph.D. research project involving the competitive interactions of native and introduced slugs.

Our host Liz Shea talked about the squids, especially Lolliguncula brevis, in Delaware Bay.

Liz Shea, curator of mollusks at the Delaware Museum of Natural History talking about squids.

Finally, Ryan Carnegie presented the results of the field studies he has been doing with oysters and their protozoan parasites. Although it was the end, Ryan's talk seems to have generated more questions and discussion than all the previous talks.

MAM has always been a perfect meeting for graduate students to present their research projects and practice their public speaking skills. This year's meeting was no exception; four of the speakers were graduate students. I thought the audience was very enthusiastic until the very end and every speaker got plenty of questions.

Only two people were (un)lucky enough to have their pictures taken by me. Next year, I will try to take more pictures. I will also try to write down everybody's affiliation as well.

1 comment:

Aleta Karstad said...

I often find your blog when searching for things. This time, we are trying to identify slugs from greenhouses. I would like to correspond about this, as I am about to begin to paint watercolours of slugs for a book on Introduced Land Snails and Slugs in Canada, with a guide to native genera. I am also interested in collecting live material, which I can get permits to import for the purpose of illustration. Aleta