What's New?

Page last updated
24 November 2004

What's New with the MUSSELp?

The highlights of 2002-2003.

Happy New Year

19 December 2003.— The End of a Great Year. With the coming winter break, the MUSSELp will take a vacation until the New Year. We had a productive year, learned a lot about freshwater mussel systematics and made some great connections with other researchers. We look forward to sharing more of our work at this site in 2004!

To give recognition where recognition is due, we have put together a Thanks and Happy New Year page to acknowledge those folks that directly assisted us in 2003.

20-25 October 2003.— Collection Work and a Seminar at the CM. KSC and DLG met at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to harvest information about Gondwanan freshwater mussel specimens, to digitally photograph unionoid types and for KSC to give a seminar, "The Freshwater Mussels (Bivalvia: Etherioidea) of Venezuela."

Daniel Graf, Kevin Cummings and Curator of Mollusks Tim Pearce at the CM Daniel Graf, Kevin Cummings and Curator of Mollusks Tim Pearce at the CM

Daniel Graf examining specimens at the British Natural History Museum.9-17 September 2003.— Museum Work and Lecturing in the UK. DLG went to the British Natural History Museum in London to examine specimens and to Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge to give a lecture at a special open bivalve meeting to honor Prof. Brian Morton.

Specimen work at the BMNH was purely reconnaissance. DLG was able to get a handle on how many etherioideans are housed in the various collections (i.e., dry, alcohol preserved and types). It looks like KSC and DLG will need to work for a whole month at the Natural History Museum when they return!

DLG also met with Ellinor Michel at the BMNH to work out some of the logistics of her participation in the MUSSELp. Next summer, we will fund a student to take part in the Nyanza Project on Lake Tanganyika with Dr. Michel.

The lecture in Cambridge went well. "The Evolution of the Etherioidea" provided a nice bench mark for the state of our knowledge of southern continent freshwater mussel evolution at the beginning of our project and was good plug for the MUSSELp.

2 September 2003.— Dr. Sabaj Hands Over the Specimens he Collected in Peru. Dr. Mark Sabaj, collecting in Iquitos, Peru on behalf of the MUSSEL Project, returned to Philadelphia in late August. He handed over the fine specimens that he collected after the Labor Day holiday. The specimens that Mark provided will serve as exemplars for our anatomical studies of southern continent freshwater mussels. We are grateful to Mark for undertaking this expedition. Click here for more information about Dr. Sabaj's adventure in South America.

A Peruvian woman with mussels available for sale, and Dr. Mark Sabaj displaying those specimens upon his return to Philadelphia.

A Peruvian woman with mussels available for sale, and Dr. Sabaj diplaying those specimens upon his return to Philadelphia.

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1 September 2003.— NSF Award: Systematic Revision of the Etherioidea, the Freshwater Mussels (Mollusca: Unionoida) of the Gondwanan Continents. Our NSF awards, DEB-0316125 and DEB-0316488, were officially announced. Click here to learn more about this research project.

John Lundberg

Our award announcement coincided with another NSF award to the CSBE group, the All Catfishes project by John Lundberg and Mark Sabaj. We celebrated later in the week by having a party, eating catfish and (marine) mussels, and eating a special cake made by Cakes by Nancy.

We are hiring15 August 2003.— Seeking Assistance. We posted an advertisement on this site, the Mollusca Evolution Listserver and the Unio Listserver for a three year position to help with the MUSSEL Project and other malacological duties at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Kevin Cummings, Cal Goodrich and Daniel Graf at UMMZ.18-29 June 2003.— 2003 AMS Meeting. KSC and DLG went from the Field to the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology in Ann Arbor to finish capturing specimen data for Neotropical and Australasian unionoids. DLG stayed on for the annual meeting of the American Malacological Society. He also presented a lecture at a special session honoring Jack Burch, entitled "The MUSSEL Project: Recent Global Diversity of the Freshwater Mussels (Bivalvia: Unionoida)."

17 June 2003.— Museum Work at the Field. KSC and DLG captured specimen data for the Gondwanan families of freshwater mussels at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois. On his way west, DLG also stopped at the Carnegie Museum to examine their holdings of Etherioidea.

Kevin Cummings & Daniel Graf at the Field Museum.

16-19 March 2003.— 2003 FMCS Meeting. DLG and KSC traveled to Durham, North Carolina to participate in the semiannual meeting of the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society. They presented a poster, "The MUSSEL Database Project."

13-17 January 2003.— Collections Work at the MCZ. KSC and DLG traveled to the Museum of Comparative Zoology in Cambridge, MA to capture specimen data on Gondwanan freshwater mussels.

16-19 December 2002.— Proposal Development. KSC and DLG rendezvoused at the UMMZ in Ann Arbor, Michigan (roughly midway between Champaign-Urbana and Philadelphia) to work on a research proposal for NSF. They also captured images of UMMZ types and general Diplodon specimens.

11 December 2002.— Simpson-Haas Index. The on-line version of the Simpson-Haas index was announced to the world.

"Hello Malaco-World,

Just in time for the holidays, we would like to announce our new web site dedicated to the MUSSEL Database Project. It is mostly bare-bones as yet except for one new really cool product for those freshwater mussel lovers among you. The Simpson-Haas Index is an on-line searchable index to the nominal species that appear in Simpson (1900, Synopsis of the Naiades) and Haas (1969, Das Tierreich). Those two works formed the nucleus for what we are sure will be a pearl of a database dedicated to the taxonomy of the Unionoida."

7-8 October 2002.— The Birth of the MUSSEL Project. DLG and KSC got together in Champaign to initiate their collaboration on the MUSSEL Project by combining their two independently constructed databases of freshwater mussel taxonomy.

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"Making the world a better place, one mollusk at a time."