Molluscan Ecology Education

  • oyster_measuring475.jpg
     Measuring oysters  Missy Southworth
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     Example of an oyster reef community  Missy Southworth
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Graduate education

Molluscan Ecology graduate students are enrolled in the College of William and Mary's School of Marine Science graduate program and are part of the VIMS Department of Fisheries Science. Both Master's and Ph.D students complete research projects that lead to Master of Science theses or Doctoral dissertations. These students are an integral part of the Molluscan Ecology program.

Courses taught

Larval Ecology (MS658) - examines the Ecology of marine larval forms: spawning and development patterns; physical limitations on the fertilization process, feeding, nutrition and mobility; size and parental investment, dispersal and metamorphosis, post metamorphic survival.  (3 credits)

Malacology (MS668) - examines the evolution of the molluscs from the Cambrian to the present, radiation to the current 80,000 or so species, and the functional morphology and ecology of each of the major taxonomic groups. The section on cephalopods is taught by Dr. Michael Vecchione of the USNM, Smithsonian. The course concludes with a field trip to the research collection at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. (3 credits)

Educational Materials

Virginia's Oyster Reef Teaching EXperience (VORTEX) was a multi-component training program focusing on the importance of oyster reef communities in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem designed specifically for science educators by the Virginia Insitute of Marine Science. This program, as well as other molluscan educational material, is now managed by the VIMS Marine Education and Advisory Program.