Student Research Projects
Diversity of Pulmonate Gastropods in Southeastern Virginia (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Polmonata)
The goals of this research project are to survey and document the biodiversity of pulmonate gastropod mollusks, or land slugs, in Southeastern Virginia. Understanding the biology and ecology of these mollusks has significant implications because terrestrial slugs are commonly considered garden and greenhouse "pests" because they are feeding specialists on cultivated plants and vegetation. Additionally, introduced slug species can alter the ecological balance of habitats or out compete native slug species, possibly leading to their extinction. This research project will be accomplished through fieldwork and laboratory examination of collected specimens. A variety of habitats will be sampled (e.g., VWC campus and greenhouse, wooded areas, and gardens) to ensure effective survey of the region. Collected specimens will be sketch, photographed and identified in the laboratory.