20 November 2012

#SciFund recovery

“Dream come true” sounds too hokey. “I love it when a plan comes together” sounds too smug.

It was a long week of hard work, much of it hard physical labour, with a lot of mistakes and frustrations. By the end of it, I felt like this:

Ready for it to be over.

But I achieved everything I set out to achieve... in miniature. This is in line with the spirit of #SciFund, since #SciFund was a miniature grant.

I set out for crayfish, and I got crayfish:

I got small animals, little tiny hatchlings. These are going to have to grow for a while before they’re any good to me.

I set out for sand crabs, and I got sand crabs:

I got a small number of animals, less than the number of my fingers. I have enough for to be useful for at least one project.

All the way through the trip I was very aware that this was possible because of the generosity of people who donated to #SciFund. I was frequently updating a blog I created for supporters, and journaling the expedition for an audience made the trip a little less isolating.

Would I have liked to have had a few more data points, the important thing was that I did not come away empty handed. It was wonderful to be out in the field, trying to tackle problems and do things that I had been thinking about for a couple of years. Now I will have to spend a few more months thinking and working before I know what to do next.

(Crossposted from NeuroDojo.)

12 November 2012

#SciFund update

I swear to you, this is purely coincidence.

It is purely coincidence that today:

  • I am getting on a plane to Florida on a crustacean collecting trip powered by #SciFund support, and...
  • Round three of #SciFund launches!

It’s been a long time coming for my #SciFund expedition. Round 1 was about this time last year. Then, I was so focused on doing the project that I didn’t realize that the slough crayfish I wanted to collect were seasonal, and the best time to collect them was November.

I will be blogging about my #SciFund trip here, but only a little bit. My supporters from round 1 and 2 will be getting access to s special expedition blog, Amazons and Goliaths, where I will be blogging much more extensively and in a much different format than here.

I should also say that Kyle McLea, who had a Marmorkrebs project in Round 2 of #SciFund, recently got a whole lot of crayfish shipped to him. So his crowdfunded research is on a roll now, too.

As for round three of #SciFund, this is the first time I do not have a horse in this race, so to speak. But you should go to Rockethub and check out all the cool projects!

08 November 2012

Chucholl and colleagues, 2012

Chucholl C, Morawetz K, Groß H. 2012. The clones are coming – strong increase in Marmorkrebs [Procambarus fallax (Hagen, 1870) f. virginalis] records from Europe. Aquatic Invasions 7(4): 511-519. http://dx.doi.org/10.3391/ai.2012.7.4.008


We describe a new occurrence of parthenogenetic Marmorkrebs in southwestern Germany and give a synopsis of recent records of this species in Europe. Including the most recent records, 15 Marmorkrebs records are currently known, most of which are from Germany. At least six records represent established populations, which is an alarming increase beyond the one Marmorkrebs population known prior to 2010. Most established populations occur in lentic habitats near conurbations, typically in highly frequented secondary habitats, such as gravel pit lakes. In three instances, Marmorkrebs migrated over land, demonstrating their potential for active spread, and two invasive populations endanger indigenous crayfish populations. Most Marmorkrebs populations are large and are most likely several years old, suggesting a considerable lag between introduction and detection. Marmorkrebs populations in Europe are most likely the result of deliberate releases from aquaria, although secondary introductions may have occurred in one instance. Because Marmorkrebs are still widespread in the European pet trade, which most likely generates substantial propagule pressure, it is likely that the number of established populations will further increase over time. To mitigate the risk of further harmful crayfish releases, we suggest the prohibition of trading live high-risk crayfish species, including Marmorkrebs.

Keywords: aquarium introductions • marbled crayfish • invasiveness

06 November 2012

Marmorkrebs on the road: SICB 2013

The new newsletter of The Crustacean Society has this to say about the Society for INtegrative and Comparative Biology meeting in January:

TCS winter meeting / Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)
January 3-7, 2013, San Francisco

SICB logoThe Crustacean Society winter meeting is held in conjunction with the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) and this year the meeting will take place from January 3-7, 2013 at the Hilton near Union Square in downtown San Francisco. Tadashi Kawai (co-editor of Biology of Freshwater Crayfish) will chair a special session on the Biology of Crayfish which features talks by Gerhard Scholtz, Zen Faulkes, Keith Crandall, Peer Martin, Christoph Chuchold, Antonio Garza de Yta, Teresa Feria, and Francesca Gherardi. The Special Session will take place on Monday January 7th from 8:00-12:00. The Special Session is being sponsored in part by TCS. Additionally there will be over 40 other talks and posters related to Crustacea. There are 12 diverse symposia and I would like to draw your attention to one symposium co-organized by Todd Oakley from the University of California Santa Barbara (Integrating Genomics with Comparative Vision Research of the Invertebrates) as there are multiple crustacean talks included. On a more social note, TCS in conjunction with the Division of Invertebrate Zoology and American Microscopical Society will host a social on Sunday January 6th in the evening from 6:15 until 9:15. The TCS business meeting will be concurrent with the social from 6:15-7:15. Last year it worked out well to grab a bit of food, attend the business meeting and then rejoin non TCS colleagues at the social. There will be the Libbie Hyman auction hosted by Division of Invertebrate Zoology also in conjunction with our social. Be prepared to bid on some exciting invertebrate treasures. We are very fortunate that Burke and Associates negotiated very reasonable room rates for San Francisco ($129/night) which is quite inexpensive for this city. There are plenty of reasons to attend this meeting in addition to the great science. Extend your visit to San Francisco and walk over the Golden Gate Bridge, visit China town, spend a day at the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park or browse the shelves at the City Lights Book Store in North Beach. Please plan on attending this year’s winter meeting and dropping by the TCS booth to say hello. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me (sltamone@uas.alaska.edu).

Sherry Tamone
SICB Liaison Officer