The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum in Sanibel has launched its Summer and Fall Lecture Series, which will be offered live via Zoom and free of charge. The next conference in the series will be:
– August 11 at 5:30 p.m.: “Mobilizing Millions of Mollusks of the Eastern Seaboard” with Dr. Rüdiger Bieler, curator of invertebrates for the Field Museum of Natural History, and the curator and scientific director of the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum Dr. José H .Leal
Mobilizing Millions of Mollusks of the Eastern Seaboard is a collaborative project sponsored by the National Science Foundation. It brings together 17 of the largest mollusc collections in the United States, including the Field Museum, the Seashell Museum, the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History, the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology and others, as well as major university collections. Participants work together to combine and update data from over 4.5 million individual specimens from the Atlantic and Gulf states that are cumulatively housed in the collections.
Once the registries are updated and standardized, the world’s largest information resource for Atlantic and Gulf shellfish will be established and made available to the public online. Adding map coordinates for specimens will provide knowledge of distributions and, as natural history collections contain specimens collected from the mid-1800s to the present day, changes in distribution over time will be better understood and may lead to better fisheries management and conservation. Leal and Bieler will discuss the progress of the project and the expected results of the cooperative effort.
Bieler received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Hamburg in Germany. He has held curatorial and trustee positions at the Delaware Museum of Natural History, and he joined the Field Museum in 1990. Bieler is a faculty member of the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago, was elected president for the International and American Societies of Malacology and served on the board of trustees of the Delaware Museum.
Leal has worked for the Seashell Museum since 1996. He earned his Ph.D. in Marine Biology and Fisheries from the University of Miami. Leal holds honorary professorships at the University of Miami and Florida Gulf Coast University, where he is an affiliate member of the Coastal Watershed Institute. He is a past president of the American Malacological Society and the Conchologists of America. Leal is the editor of The Nautilus, one of the oldest peer-reviewed malacology journals in the world.
For more information or to register, visit ShellMuseum.org/lecture-series.