MUSSEL Project

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The MUSSEL Project is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Page last updated
4 January 2014

MUSSELp Home Page

Making the World a Better Place, One Mollusk at a Time.

The MUSSEL Project (MUSSELp, for short) is an on-going study aimed at the global revision of the classification of the Unionoida, otherwise known as freshwater mussels. The two principle investigators, Daniel L. Graf (DLG) and Kevin S. Cummings (KSC), combine their efforts to maintain an efficient malacological strike force equally capable of working in remote collection localities or urban mollusk collections.

Toward this end, we are compiling an exhaustive database of all Recent unionoid species and genera described to-date. This database will eventually serve as the basis for a universal synthesis and revision of freshwater mussel taxonomy. Furthermore, we apply cladistic methods to test our hypotheses of evolutionary relationships. This allows us to use macroevolutionary pattern to test hypotheses of macroevolutionary process.

Browse the MUSSELp Database!
newThe Freshwater Mussels (Unionoida) of the World
(and other less consequential bivalves)

This site is under constant construction, but feel free to click around and see what we have so far. Check back often for updates!

From 1-31 December 2013, the MUSSELp Web Site had:

  • 1796 visits by 1175 visitors that made 13,905 page views!

For 2013, we had:

  • 16,491 visitors that viewed a total of 148,651 pages! That is a 14% increase over 2012. Thanks for using our web site.
What's new with the MUSSELp?

latest news

"The warm daze of summer are often the busiest time for the MUSSEL Project." ... More News!

The Mussel of the Month is
Leguminaia wheatleyi

mussel of the month
"Leguminaia is a genus of two species endemic to the Middle East, from Syria and Turkey east to the Tigris-Euphrates." ... more about the Mussel of the Month!

About Freshwater Mussels

"While unionoids are diverse and conspicuous members of freshwater communities all over the Earth, they are often ignored or unknown to everyone except specially trained invertebrate zoologists." ... more about freshwater mussels!

Publications & Presentations

"This web site is not the only mechanism for distribution of our research results." ... more about publications!

Recent Publications:

  • Pfeiffer, J.M., III & D.L. Graf. 2013. Re-analysis confirms the polyphyly of Lamprotula Simpson, 1900 (Bivalvia: Unionidae). Journal of Molluscan Studies 79: 249-256.
  • Graf, D.L. 2013. Patterns of freshwater bivalve global diversity and the state of phylogenetic studies on the Unionoida, Sphaeriidae, and Cyrenidae. American Malacological Bulletin 31: 135-153.
  • Graf, D.L. & K.S. Cummings. 2011. Freshwater mussel (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionoida) richness and endemism in the ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar based on comprehensive museum sampling. Hydrobiologia 678: 17-36.

Recent Presentations:

  • Pappas, R. & D.L. Graf. 2013. A preliminary study of the biogeography of freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae) in Wisconsin, USA. Poster presented at the University of Wisconsin Stevens-Point College of Letters and Sciences Undergraduate Research Symposium, 26 April 2013.
  • Luebke, C.M. & D.L. Graf. 2013. Curation of the Daniel J. Bereza Collection of freshwater mollusks at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Phase I. Poster presented at the University of Wisconsin Stevens-Point College of Letters and Sciences Undergraduate Research Symposium, 26 April 2013.
  • Pfeiffer, J.M. & D.L. Graf. 2013. Evolution of Asymmetrical Larvae in Freshwater Mussels (Bivalvia:Unionidae). Presented at the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society, 11-13 March 2013, Guntersville, Alabama.

Projects & Online Products

"Rather that trying to conquer the whole world at once, we have instead opted to break the larger problem into a series of more manageable projects."... more about projects!

Unionoida cum Grano Salis  
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"Making the world a better place, one mollusk at a time."