CMU Musselheads, Summer 2011

Wavy-rayed Lampmussel (Lampsilis fasciola), French Creek, PA

The (old Brooks Hall) Aquatic Conservation Genetics Lab (ACGL) at Central Michigan University

In the Sydenham River, Ontario (June, 2009)

Crew on Grand River, MI
Mussel crew on the Grand River, Michigan (Sept, 2009)

Phil, Andy, and Jenn at the Columbus Zoo/ Ohio State University
Freshwater Mussel Conservation and Research Center
(Nov, 2010)

CMU Mussel Lab Members

I am always looking for new undergraduate and graduate (MS or PhD) students to participate on projects in the lab. Please contact me if you are interested.

Graduate Students

Jonah Jimmerson (2024-) - MS in Conservation Biology (Undergrad: University of Tampa)
Project: Comparative population genomics of bivalves in coastal estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico

Alec Smith
(2023-) - Biology MS (Plan B) (Undergrad - Central Michigan University: Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology)

Aaliyah Wright (2021-) - Earth and Ecosystem Science Ph.D. Student (Undergrad: Tuskegee University). NSF Graduate Research Fellow.
Project: Population genomics and phylogeography of genus Obovaria

Undergraduate Students

Alec Barczewski (2022-) - Biology EEC Senior

James (Jimmy) Haugh
(2022-) - Biology EEC Junior
Project (CMU Summer Scholar/HON499): Morphometric analyses on genus Epioblasma

Aiden Judge (2023-) - Biology EEC Senior

Aaron Vlasak (2022-) - Biology EEC Senior

Past Lab Members

Lindsey Adams
(2012) - Biology Natural Resources Major. Biologist with US Fish and Wildlife Service in Louisiana.

DanAuer Mussel
Dan Auer (2009-12) - Environmental Studies/Biology Natural Resources. Now an Outdoor Educator.

nature boy joe poster
Joe Bailey
(2010-11) - Biology Natural Resources Major.
Project (BIO403): Genetic population structuring of Lasmigona costata (Flutedshell, Bivalvia: Unionoida) in a recently glaciated landscape

Amelia Baird (2012) - Biology Major

Shaughn Barnett (2013-15) - M.S. in Conservation Biology (Undergrad: Grand Valley State University).
Project: Effects of dams and dam removals on mussel assemblages (Supervised by Dr. Daelyn

Kate Beauchamp
(2016-2020) - Biology Major. Now in Dentistry program at University of Michigan.
Project (HON499): DNA barcoding and geometric morphometrics to assess potential hybridization in Pyganodon (Bivalvia: Unionidae) from Beaver Island lakes

Caitlin Beaver (2016-2018) - M.S. in Conservation Biology. Now a lab manager in Dr. Nathan Johnson's lab at USGS in Gainesville FL.
Project: Conservation genetics of Snuffbox mussel (Epioblasma triquetra) populations in the Great Lakes drainage

Jenn2 Jenn1
Jennifer Bergner (2009-13) - M.S. in Conservation Biology (Undergrad: Bowling Green State University). Now biology undergraduate lab coordinator at Montana State University - Great Falls College.
Project: Does scale matter? Species and genetic diversity of unionid mussels in Great Lakes drainages.
(co-supervised by Dr. Daelyn Woolnough)

Erin Bertram (2011-12)
- Environmental Studies/Biology Natural Resources. Completed an MS at the University of Texas at Tyler. Now a Biologist with Michigan EGLE.

Tyler Beyett
(2016-2020) - Biology Major
Project (CMU Summer Scholar/HON499): Morphometric and DNA barcoding analyses to differentiate between endangered Fawnsfoot Mussels (Truncilla donaciformis) and common Deertoe Mussels (Truncilla truncata)

Ben Boetcher (2008-09) - Biology Major (ROTC). Now in U.S. Armed Forces.

Jamie Bucholz
(2017-2019) - M.S. Biology (Undergrad: University of Wisconsin - River Falls). Now a Ph.D. Student in Carla Atkinson and Jeff Lozier's labs at University of Alabama.
Project: Conservation genomics of the Hickorynut mussel (Obovaria olivaria)

Mandi Caldwell (2012-2014) - M.S. in Conservation Biology (Undergrad: SUNY Brockport). Now a Biologist with US Fish and Wildlife Service in New York.
Project: Host fish testing on Epioblasma triquetra (Supervised by Dr. Daelyn Woolnough)

Kandis Cazenave (2014) - BS in Wildlife and Conservation Biology (Mississippi State University)
Project (CMUBS 2014 REU Program): Environmental drivers of shell shape in a freshwater gastropod from inland lakes and coastal Lake Michigan
*Kandis' poster was Honorable Mention for best student poster at the 2015 Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society symposium in St. Charles, MO*

Amanda Chambers (2013-2015) - M.S. Candidate (Undergrad: Lake Superior State University). Now a Biologist with the Michigan EGLE.
Project: A paired longitudinal study of freshwater mussel assemblages of the Chippewa and Pine Rivers in Michigan (Supervised by Dr. Daelyn Woolnough)

bri bri rock pocketbook
Briana Collins (2010-11)
- Biology Pre-grad/Pre-prof Major. Now a Physical Therapist.
Project (HON499/BIO403): Testing the Post-Glacial Origins of Plain Pocketbook, Lampsilis cardium, (Bivalvia: Unionoida) in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan Using Microsatellite DNA Markers

Katie Colaccino
(2009-10) - Biomedical Sciences Major.
Project (BIO403): Genetic Population Structuring in the Ellipse Mussel (Venustaconcha ellipsiformis) as a Result of Post-Glacial History in Michigan

Chris Finch (2008-09) - Biology Pre-grad/Pre-prof Major.

Adrienne Gibson (2012-2014) - M.S. in Conservation Biology (Undergrad: Grand Valley State University)
Project: Host fish testing on Lampsilis cardium (Supervised by Dr. Daelyn Woolnough)

Traci Griffith (2011-13) - M.S. in Conservation Biology (Undergrad: U. of Wisconsin - Eau Claire). Now a program officer at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in St. Paul MN.
Project: Relating genetic and species diversity metrics of unionid mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae) across variable habitats in the coastal regions of western Lake Erie.

AndyHarris Andy
Andy Harris (2008-11) - Biology Natural Resources Major and McNair Scholar.
Project (BIO403): Insular lake island biogeography of freshwater mollusks on the Lake Michigan island archipelago: Using lake metrics to predict species diversity. (Outstanding Student Presentation Award at 2010 ALSO/NABS meeting in Santa Fe, NM)
Project (McNair Program): Implications of phylogeographic structure in the Ellipse mussel (Venustaconcha ellipsiformis).

Trevor Hewitt (2013-2015) -
M.S. in Conservation Biology (Undergrad: Michigan State University). Currently a PhD student at the University of Michigan EEB program (U of M Museum of Zoology, Division of Mollusks).
Project: Testing postglacial invasion routes for unionid mussels into the Great Lakes

Jordan Hoffman (2014-2016) - M.S. Candidate (Undergrad: Oakland University, MS: Tulane University). Currently a PhD student at CUNY and the New York Botanical Garden.
Project: Dispersal of Mapleleaf mussels across the Niagara Peninsula

Dr. Shay Keretz
(2019-2023) - Earth and Ecosystem Science Ph.D. (MS: Mississippi State U., BS: University of Northern Arizona). Currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at NOAA CIGLR.
Project: Monitoring and habitat modeling native and invasive freshwater mussel populations in the Detroit and St. Clair rivers.

Cole Keyworth
(2021) - Biology EEC

Lindsay Kolich (2011-12)
- Biology Natural Resources. Completed MS Program in Entomology at Purdue. Now an Invasive Species Biologist with MI EGLE.
Project (BIO403):
Effects of the Dreissena polymorpha invasion on the genetic structure of Lasmigona costata (Bivalvia: Unionoida) in the Lake St. Clair delta and surrounding tributaries
*Lindsay was awarded the Best Student Poster at the 2012 International Association for Great Lakes Research conference*

Kelsey Krupp (2015-2017) - Biology Natural Resources. Now a mussel field technician with the Minnesota DNR.

Daryl Kuipers
(2009-11) - Biology Pre-grad/Pre-prof Major. Now a practicing veterinarian in Clinton Twp. MI.

Ava Laszlo
(2021-2023) - Research Technician. B.S.: Oregon State University, M.S.: University of Texas at Tyler. Now a PhD student at University of Missouri.
Project: Freshwater Mussel Assessements and Restoration in Secord, Smallwood, Wixom and Sanford Lakes (Four Lakes Task Force).

Madison Layer
(2018-2021) - Biology EEC. Completed MS Western Kentucky University in Stonefly (Plecoptera) systematics.
Project (CMU Summer Scholar/HON499): Morphometric and DNA barcoding analyses to differentiate among Lampsilis and Ortmannaia mussel species in the Great Lakes region.
*2021 Best CMU Honors' Project in STEM disciplines

Kierstin Loomis (2016) - Biology Major

Emily Marlow (2012)
- Biomedical Sciences Major

Phil Phil
Phil Mathias (2009-2016) - M.S. Candidate (Undergrad: University of Toledo)
Project: Geographic genetic structure and diversity of Quadrula quadrula (Bivalvia: Unionidae):  Post-glacial colonization of the Great Lakes
(now working as a malacologist for Enviroscience)

Alana Miles (2012)
- Biology Major

Ethan Nederhoed (2012)
- Biology Natural Resources Major

Click to see Tonya's Pig: Fusconaia Tonya Sampling - Click to see Tonya's Pig: Fusconaia
Tonya Neuman (2008-10) - Biology Pre-grad/Pre-prof Major. Now a practicing veterinarian in northern Michigan (click here for a photo of Tonya's favorite mussel: Fusconaia).
Project (HON499/BIO403): DNA-barcoding, morphometrics, and identification of Pyganodon species from insular lakes on Lake Michigan islands.

Samantha Parker (2012-2013)
- Biology Major

Wendy Paterson (2011-2013) - M.S. in Conservation Biology (Undergrad: SUNY Oswego). Now a benthic ecology technician at SUNY Buffalo State.
Project: Genetic structure of native Mapleleaf mussels (Quadrula quadrula) and effects of the Dreissena invasion in the western basin of Lake Erie.

Dylan Powell (2020-2022) - MS in Conservation Biology (BS: Iowa State University). Now a PhD student at the University of Arkansas.
Project: Environmental DNA monitoring of Snuffbox (Epioblasma triquetra) populations.

Lizzie in ready for fishing!
Lizzie Prochaska (2008-2010) - Biology Major. Recently completed M.S. in Marine Sciences at University of New England.
Project (BIO403): Evaluation of two unionid mussel species' movement patterns following transplantation. (Advisor: Dr. Daelyn Woolnough)

Parker Reitler
(2012) - Biology Major

Mason Ross
(2013) - Biology: Microscopy Major

Matt Shiawassee Matt SCUBA
Matt Rowe (2010-2012) - M.S. in Conservation Biology. Now a Unionid Biologist for the Georgia DNR.
Project: The genetic structure of remnant Fatmucket mussel (Lampsilis siliquoidea) populations in the St. Clair River delta and surrounding tributaries following the invasion of dreissenid mussels.

Gabrielle Sanfilippo
(2021-2023) - MS in Conservation Biology (BS: Michigan State University). Now a research technician at BioMILab.
Project: Assessment and population genomics of Slippershell (Alasmidonta viridis) populations in the Great Lakes drainage

Emily Schafer (2014) - Biology Major

Baleigh Schuler (2013-2016) - B.S. in Biomedical Sciences.  Now in an MD-PhD program at IUPUI.
Project (CMUBS 2013 REU Program, HON499 Project): Genetic and Morphological Diversity in Pyganodon (freshwater bivalves) on Beaver Island*
*2016 Best CMU Honors' Project in STEM disciplines

Mariah Scott (2009-2017) - M.S. Conservation Biology (Undergrad: CMU).  
MS Project: Population structure, genetic diversity, and colonization history of the Eastern Pondmussel, Ligumia nasuta, in the Great Lakes watershed
Undergrad Project (CMU HON499/ORSP Summer Scholarship): Testing Hypotheses of Atlantic Coastal Origin for the Endangered Eastern Pondmussel, Ligumia nasuta, (Bivalvia: Unionoida) in the Great Lakes.

Emmett Smrcka (2019-2020) - Snail surveys in inland lakes: which lake characteristics predict invasion by non-native viviparid snails? (MCNALMS Student Research Scholarship project)

Jenna Sokol
(2021-2022) - Biology EEC Major

Nick Trombley
(2021) - Biology Major

Dr. Nichelle Van Tassel (2018-2023) - Earth and Ecosystem Science Ph.D. Candidate (MS and Undergrad: University of West Florida), currently a bioinformatics Research Associate at the Smithsonian National Zoo Conservation Genomics Lab.
Project: Comparison of genetic/genomic diversity between wild and captive-bred populations of freshwater mussels; phylogeography and population genomics of the freshwater genus Ptychobranchus.

Lauren Western
(Summer 2023) - BS in Wildlife and Conservation Biology (University of Montana)
Project (CMUBS 2023 REU Program): Environmental drivers of shell shape in the freshwater gastorpod Campeloma decisum from inland lakes.

Julia Willsie (2018-2021) - Biology EEC Major. Completed MS at the University of Windsor (Canada)
Project (CMU Summer Scholar/HON499): Morphometric and DNA barcoding analyses to differentiate between Round Pigtoe (Pleurobema sintoxia) and Wabash Pigtoe (Fusconaia flava) in the Great Lakes draiange*
*2021 CMU Provost Award for Undergraduate Research



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