UCMP’s summer adventures (cont.)

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with a research permit from the French Polynesian government, is able to collect tissue samples to enable identification. Using methods that do not harm the snails, she obtained tissue samples for molecular sequencing to determine where this residual population fits in the evolutionary radiation of tree snails on the island. The blend of exceptionally high interest in Pacific island land snail diversity and their extraordinary vulnerability to mass extinction brought together an international group of scientists for a symposium at the annual meeting of the American Malacological Society in June. Carole set the stage for the symposium with a paper on the interaction of biology and geology in shaping Pacific island biotas.

Randy Irmis managed to fit in two field seasons, plus some UCMP collections

The tree snail Partula taeniata
Thought to have disappeared from Moorea more than 20 years ago, a relict population of the tree snail Partula taeniata has been discovered by Carole Hickman. (photo by Carole Hickman)

work which included re-curating specimens collected in the Petrified Forest National Park (PFNP) during the 1980s. Randy had recently worked on several Petrified Forest-based research projects with Bill Parker (PFNP) and Sterling Nesbitt (UCMP alum now at AMNH/Columbia University). Their

Randy Irmis and Nick Pyenson collect sediment samples at Sharktooth Hill
Randy Irmis (seated) and Nick Pyenson collect sediment samples at the Miocene Sharktooth Hill locality east of Bakersfield. (photo by Jenny McGuire)

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