Molluscan Ecology Education

  • Molluscan Ecology Lab Teaches Beyond VIMS:
    Molluscan Ecology Lab Teaches Beyond VIMS:  Kathleen Hemeon, a student from the University of Southern Mississippi, is spending time at VIMS learning about aging molluscs. Here she shows an unarmored threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus williamsoni) during work with the U.S. Forest Service on the west coast.  
  • 2019 Knauss Fellow:
    2019 Knauss Fellow:  Chase Long, VIMS Master's candidate, was selected as a Knauss Fellow serving at NOAA in Washington, DC.  
  • Shell Aging:
    Shell Aging:  Chase Long, VIMS graduate student, and Khalil Russell, W&M undergrad, work on cutting shells for the aging process.  
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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.

Student Research 

Collage of Molluscan Ecology Students

Research experience is available to graduate, undergraduate and high school students working in the Molluscan Ecology Lab.  Read about current student research projects.

Molluscan Ecology Community Outreach

Missy Southworth, VIMS Sr. Research Scientist, explains bivalve hinge construction and shell aging that is performed in the Molluscan Ecology Lab.Students at Bethel Elementary School in Gloucester get a lesson on bivalve biology along with their commercial and ecological importance from Missy Southworth, VIMS Molluscan Ecology, April 2019.  The Molluscan Ecology Lab has several ongoing aging projects for oysters, clams and scallops. 

Students were able to see the process of how clams are aged using microscopic internal growth rings laid down within the shell structure and got to try their hand at aging scallop shells using external growth lines. 

See the photo gallery for more images of Bethel Elementary "Bivalve Day"

Molluscan Ecology Graduate Courses

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)

VIMS Molluscan Ecology Graduate Courses

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)