Attendees of the American Malacological Society 81st Annual Meeting 2015 at UMBS.

The annual meeting of the American Malacological Society was hosted and cosponsored by the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and held at the University of Michigan Biological Station in late August 2015.

Malacology, in case anyone is unsure, is the branch of invertebrate zoology that studies the Mollusca (mollusks), the second largest phylum of animals in terms of described species following arthropods. Mollusks include snails, slugs, clams, octopus, squid and many others, many of which have shells. (source: Wikipedia)

Some 100 people participated, including about 40 students and representatives from across the United States as well as from Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Argentina and Brazil.

The meeting ran very smoothly thanks to the tremendous support of members of the U-M Museum of Zoology's Mollusk Division and various personnel associated with the UMMZ, EEB, UMBS and the American Malacological Society, according to Professor Tom Duda, current AMS president and annual meeting chair. The UMBS is in Pellston, Mich., nestled up north adjacent to Douglas Lake, one of the state’s many inland lakes.

“What I found most thrilling about the meeting, aside from the wonderful venue of the UMBS, was the excellent line-up of presentations that were assembled by symposium and session organizers,” Duda said. “One of the highlights commented on by many participants was the Early Career Malacologists Symposium that featured nine students who gave top-notch presentations on their work and helped to kick off a fantastic scientific program.”

Dr. Jingchun Li (a former student of the Mollusk Division, whose advisor was Professor Diarmaid Ó Foighil) and Dr. Alvin Alejandrino, Whittier College, organized the symposium.

In addition to AMS symposium funds, the U-M Office of Research, U-M’s College of Literature Science and the Arts, EEB, UMMZ and the UMMZ's Mollusk Division provided funds to support students as well as various activities and events at AMS 2015.

Participants from UMMZ Mollusk Division included: Duda, EEB Chair Ó Foighil; Professor Emeritus Jack Burch; Taehwan Lee, UMMZ Mollusk Division collection coordinator and research scientist; postdoctoral fellows Amanda Haponski  and Ryutaro Goto; graduate students Cindy Bick, Peter Cerda, Trevor Hewitt and Andrew Wood; and Alyssa Lawler, undergraduate student.

The U-M Museum of Zoology Mollusk Division. From left to right: Alyssa Lawler, Ryutaro Goto, Peter Cerda, Cindy Bick, Joong-Ki Park, Amanda Haponski, Andrew Wood, Diarmaid Ó Foighil, Taehwan Lee, Tom Duda.