Evolution of shell morphology in freshwater mussels.

For the past year, I have been working with several colleagues to completely redesign our first year biology program at the University of Guelph. One of the aspects of the new “Discovering Biodiversity” course (which complements courses in human health and molecular and cellular biology) that I am most excited about is the use of inquiry cases to introduce major concepts in evolution, ecology, and organismal biology.

As part of one inquiry case, we will be exploring the issues surrounding freshwater mussels in the Great Lakes region, including the native diversity and the impacts of invasions by zebra mussels and quagga mussels.

Last week I was in Michigan with my friend and colleague Dave Zanatta of Central Michigan University filming vignettes about mussel research. Here is just a sample (note: unedited and unannotated) of the footage we shot.

2 comments to Evolution of shell morphology in freshwater mussels.

  • Kevin Cummings

    Nice video.  Say hey to Dave for me.  In discussing Quadrula s.l. you state that they are in the same clade.  If by that you mean the Quadrulini then I guess that’s true, but Dan Graf and I have already split the tribe back into the “old” groups Quadrula quadrula; Amphinaias pustulosa, etc. I have a pdf of the paper if interested.



    • Many thanks. I think I did mention that they wouldn’t remain in the same genus, but that they are part of a clade with many members with bumps — i.e., that particular trait is shared and presumably ancestral. As long as that much remains accepted, I’m ok!


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