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Student Research Projects

Opisthobranch Mollusks from Virginia's Eastern Shore: Systematics and Development

Student Pamela Bray
Faculty Mentor(s) Dr. Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson
Department Biology

Abstract

Few studies exist documenting the diversity of opisthobranch mollusks (sea slugs) from the Eastern Shore of Virginia and to date only 21 species have been recorded. The goals of this ongoing research have been to survey and document the diversity of marine slugs in the Atlantic waters of the Eastern Shore and the Chesapeake Bay. This has been accomplished through methods of collection, such as dredging and wading, followed by morphological and internal examination and culturing of specimens in the laboratory. To date 28 sites have been sampled from April – August 2007. Five species have been identified. All species were collected from the Atlantic waters of the Eastern Shore and are new records for that area. Development for one species, Doriopsilla pharpa was confirmed in the laboratory. Sampling is continuing to fully assess current diversity levels and determine mode of development for opisthobranchs in the bay.

Grants

Pamela Bray, "Opisthobranch Mollusks from Virginia's Eastern Shore: Systematics and Development" - Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, 2007 Undergraduate Science Summer Research Program, $2500.

Conferences

Tidewater Chapter of Sigma Xi - 9th annual Student Research Poster Session, Nov. 2007

 

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