20 March 2011

Bootleg transactions of the 13th MAM meeting

The 13th meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Malacologists took place yesterday at the Delaware Museum of Natural History (DMNH) in Wilmington, Delaware. There were about 32 attendees, one of the highest numbers in recent years.

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

  • Marla Coppolino (New York): Marla played the rasping sounds of her pet snails' radulae recorded while they were eating a carrot. The snails were Mesodon zaletus.

  • Charlie Sturm (Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh): Charlie, the current president of the American Malacological Society, is organizing the 77th meeting of the Society to take place 23-38 July 2011 in Pittsburgh, PA. Be there!

  • Paul Callomon (Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia): The mollusk collection of the ANS is being recataloged with the help of a voice-recognizing software.

  • Paula Mikkelsen (Paleontological Research Institution, Ithaca): Paula presented an overview of the history of publishing in malacology. In 1959, 485 papers containing the phrase "mollus" were published, while in 2009 their number had gone up to 2058.

  • Tim Pearce (Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh): Tim presented his ideas on the evolution of slugs from snails. Why is it good to be a semi-slug?

  • Lynn Dorwaldt (Wagner Free Institute of Science, Philadelphia): History of the Wagner Free Institute of Science and also the bivalves from Isaac Lee's collection that are kept at the Institute. Some 19th century malacology books from the Institute's library were passed around.



  • William Wagner founded the science institute named after him. He also gave public lectures on conchology.

  • Robert Robertson (Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia): According to Gunner Thorson's (1950) shell apex theory, protoconch morphologies reflect modes of larval development. Robert's research shows that the theory doesn't apply to the Pyramidellidae.

  • Tom Grace (Pennsylvania): New records of the freshwater mussel Margaritifera in the headwaters of the Schuylkill River.

  • Aydin Örstan (Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh): I presented my half-baked ideas on the breathing anatomy of semi-terrestrial rissooids snails.



  • Here I am in front of a giant Assiminea succinea.

  • Bill Fenzan (Virginia): The 1st International Cone Meeting was in Stuttgart, Germany in October 2010. The next meeting will be in La Rochelle, France in September 2012 (for more info see The Cone Collector).

  • Makiri Sei (Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia): Makiri talked about her ongoing project with Gary Rosenberg on the phylogeny of Jamaican Annulariidae based on DNA sequences.

  • Kevin Ripka: Kevin, a birder who recently got interested in snails, is developing an iPhone app for northeast U.S. land snails.

  • Adam Baldinger (Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University): Adam talked about the various mollusk models at MCZ among which are a large number glass mollusks and other invertebrates made by the Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka.

  • Megan Paustian (Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh): Megan talked about the ecology and species of the slugs in the genus Meghimatium in Japan. She also showed slides from her trip there.

  • Francisco Borrero (Cincinnati Museum Center): The taxonomy and biogeography of the Orthalicoidea from Colombia and adjacent areas.

  • Once again I will take this opportunity to thank to Liz Shea, the curator of mollusks at the DMNH and Leslie Skibinski, the collection manager, for organizing this wonderful meeting. I am already looking forward to next year's gathering.

    The bootleg transactions of the 12th MAM meeting are here.

    2 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    Sounds like a great meeting, I'm sorry I missed it. Thanks for giving us an outline of the event, Aydin.

    Susan J. Hewitt

    David Winter said...

    Sounds like a cool meeting. I would have liked to have heard Tim Pierce in particular, since I've been reading a little about slugificaton (which Solem called 'limicization') as a result of discovering leaf-veined slugs in our garden. Researching those guys I discovered an article called "How to be sluggish" which provides a nice overview.