Aquatic Mollusk Conservation, Research, and Surveys

mussel and mussel researchersProject ID: FCSR23

Principal Investigator: G. Thomas Watters

Project Overview:  Freshwater mussels are the most endangered group of animals in North America.  There is a need to actively manage their populations to ensure their survival. However, our current knowledge of basic freshwater mussel biology is inadequate to fill this need. The complexity of these organisms, their parasitic life cycle, the requirements of juveniles, their genetic makeup, and even their food requirements have been underestimated. Research into these areas requires a dedicated facility such as the Freshwater Mussel Conservation and Research Center (FMCRC) at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Activities at such a facility may be designed to address conservation issues on a species-by-species basis as needed. Studies on any given species may include all aspects of freshwater mussel biology necessary to conserve, manage, and in some cases, delist the mussel species.