Thursday, June 8, 2017
11:00 - 12:30

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11:00 - 11:15: / 305A CRAY CRAY MORPHOMETRICS - ADVANCING MORPHOLOGICAL SPECIES DELIMITATION OF CRAYFISH

6/08/2017  |   11:00 - 11:15   |  305A

CRAY CRAY MORPHOMETRICS - ADVANCING MORPHOLOGICAL SPECIES DELIMITATION OF CRAYFISH Crayfishes are considered one of the most imperiled groups of freshwater organisms in the U.S. Effective conservation is predicated on reliable identification of species. Crayfishes typically are distinguished using a suite of morphological characters, both quantitative and qualitative, assumed to be consistent within, but variable among species; however, confident identification is often based on adult reproductive-form males, the presence of which is highly dependent on time of year. Further, increasing evidence suggests that key taxonomic characters may vary with environment. Our primary objective is to extend and automate a technique to examine variation in crayfishes. We compare landmark data among a set of readily distinguishable morphospecies and among populations within a widespread species complex (Cambarus robustus) using geometric morphometric analyses implemented in R. We are assessing results of clustering algorithms, lasso models, and random forest models for consistent species delimitation, and training Haar cascades on a Beowulf cluster to detect specific features for automated landmark placement. Our results will provide insight into how morphological characters vary across space, environment, and taxa, and in turn aid reliable identification of crayfish species.

Melyssa Minto (Primary Presenter/Author), Meredith College, NC Museum of Natural Sciences , msminto@email.meredith.edu;


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11:15 - 11:30: / 305A CUTTING THE TELSON THREAD: PERSPECTIVE OF A NOVICE ASTACOLOGIST

6/08/2017  |   11:15 - 11:30   |  305A

CUTTING THE TELSON THREAD: PERSPECTIVE OF A NOVICE ASTACOLOGIST Crayfish are iconic animals that provide a wealth of ecological and economic services throughout the world. Unfortunately, as a result of multiple ecological stressors, crayfish have become one of the most imperiled groups of organisms in freshwaters ecosystems. There remain numerous gaps in the scientific understanding of crayfish that need to be filled in order to implement and hone conservation efforts, and the necessity to do so is becoming increasingly pressing. In this talk, I will reflect on my growth as a novice astacologist and provide insight into the rewards and challenges that accompany a career in astacology. Amongst other topics, I will touch on using public outreach to increase awareness of crayfish conservation, recruiting students and helping them succeed in graduate school, as well as possible job outcomes of astacologists. My hope is that this talk will be informative to students and seasoned astacologists alike, and will stimulate a discussion on the strategies and tactics that may facilitate the next wave of astacologists.

Mael Glon (Primary Presenter/Author), Ohio State University, glon.1@osu.edu;


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11:30 - 11:45: / 305A APPLICATION OF PHYSIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION TO CRAYFISH CONSERVATION

6/08/2017  |   11:30 - 11:45   |  305A

APPLICATION OF PHYSIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION TO CRAYFISH CONSERVATION Conservation of remaining crayfish biodiversity requires increased knowledge of environmental constraints and sensitivity to contaminants, how tolerance varies within and between species, and how physiology is affected by common symbionts. Differences in environmental tolerances between populations may be indicative of local adaptations helpful in delineating conservation units. Variation in degree of tolerance to environmental stress within a population may be used to predict ability to adapt to environmental change and differentiate between tolerant and at-risk populations. Presence/absence of symbionts may further increase or decrease tolerance to stressful conditions. Linkages between physiology, ecology, and conservation should be extremely fruitful but have received little attention in crayfish conservation. In this presentation, I will discuss a range of traditional and new research approaches to address these issues, and theoretical frameworks within which results can be integrated at the enzymatic, individual, population, and community levels. Theoretical frameworks range from individual thresholds to bioenergetics models to the adverse outcome pathway concept (AOP). Hopefully, these ideas and techniques will stimulate new and productive research directions for crayfish conservationists and encourage collaborative efforts between ecologists, physiologists, and conservationists.

Jim Stoeckel (Primary Presenter/Author), Auburn University, jas0018@auburn.edu;


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11:45 - 12:00: / 305A UTILITY OF MUSEUM COLLECTIONS: OLD DATA IN A NEW LIGHT

6/08/2017  |   11:45 - 12:00   |  305A

UTILITY OF MUSEUM COLLECTIONS: OLD DATA IN A NEW LIGHT Museum collections are frequently overlooked as important resources for current conservation efforts. In a traditional sense, museum collections are viewed as repositories for types and as libraries of historical specimens that can be used for morphological comparison. Recent technological and methodological advances are allowing museum specimens to be incorporated in a wide variety of research topics. Yet, these resources remain underutilized in the context of crayfish conservation. The establishment of museum tissue repositories and development of advanced DNA extraction techniques is enhancing accessibility of museum specimens. “Community taxa” offer largely untapped approaches to understanding historical water quality, ecology, and effects of invasive species. Evolving approaches in machine learning and pattern recognition based on museum specimens can aid in species identification and discovery. Although numerous and far-reaching, sustaining benefits of museum collections are highly dependent on continued, yet strategic, growth. Therefore, it is important to consider “use” of a collection to include donation or deposition of specimens for future use.

Raquel Fagundo (Primary Presenter/Author), NC Museum of Natural Sciences, raquel.fagundo@naturalsciences.org;


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12:00 - 12:15: / 305A OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW: A NOVEL ROLE FOR NATURAL HISTORY STUDIES IN CRAYFISH CONSERVATION

6/08/2017  |   12:00 - 12:15   |  305A

OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW: A NOVEL ROLE FOR NATURAL HISTORY STUDIES IN CRAYFISH CONSERVATION Effective conservation requires robust understanding of the biology and ecological role of a species within its ecosystem. Much of this information falls under the umbrella of natural history. While historically a mainstay of ecological sciences, natural history has fallen out of favor for more technologically driven disciplines; however, recent focus on trait-based ecological techniques and the rise of ecological modeling has led to a resurgence of natural history-focused research. Such studies have shifted our perspective of the complex roles that crayfishes play in freshwater systems. A primary challenge in crayfish conservation is recruitment of young scientists willing to dedicate their professional lives to the study of crayfishes. A broader acknowledgment of the importance of natural history studies could rectify this issue by introducing students and young biologists to the world of astacology. Natural history research often involves copious amounts of field work and observations, both of which can serve as a conduit to discovery for future astacologists. Given the lack of basic biological information for most crayfish species, natural history studies also offer the opportunity for young scientists to make important contributions crayfish conservation.

Zachary Loughman (Primary Presenter/Author), West Liberty University, zloughman@gmail.com;


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12:15 - 12:30: / 305A THE CRAYFISH INVASIVENESS RISK ASSESSMENT MODEL (CIRAM): A BAYESIAN BELIEF NETWORK FOR ASSESSING RISK POSED BY NON-NATIVE CRAYFISH

6/08/2017  |   12:15 - 12:30   |  305A

THE CRAYFISH INVASIVENESS RISK ASSESSMENT MODEL (CIRAM): A BAYESIAN BELIEF NETWORK FOR ASSESSING RISK POSED BY NON-NATIVE CRAYFISH Invasive crayfishes can substantively transform ecosystems, economies, and cultures. Currently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) uses a semi-quantitative, rapid risk screening to assess risk of invasiveness posed by non-native crayfish. This screening tool characterizes uncertainty about risk only in broad categories. To better quantify uncertainty, the USFWS assembled a team of crayfish and policy experts to develop a more predictive risk assessment tool focused on non-native crayfishes. The Bayesian belief network structure of the new tool treats uncertainty as an integral component of the model, can be applied flexibly, and is accessible to individuals with a wide range of statistical abilities. Key model elements include historical or projected effects of non-native species on native species, ecosystems, and humans; potential for concurrent introduction of pathogens or commensals; potential for transport; reproductive capacity; and climate and habitat suitability. Crayfish species independently classified as “high risk” or “low risk” were used to train and test the model structure. The resulting tool will provide the USFWS and its partners with a quantitative and flexible mechanism for assessing crayfish invasion risk.

Katherine Wyman-Grothem (Primary Presenter/Author), United States Fish and Wildlife Service, katherine_wyman@fws.gov;


Eric Larson ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Illinois, erlarson@illinois.edu;


Susan Jewell ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), United States Fish and Wildlife Service, susan_jewell@fws.gov;


Michael Hoff ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), United States Fish and Wildlife Service, retired, michaelhhoff@comcast.net;


Robert DiStefano ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Missouri Department of Conservation, Bob.DiStefano@mdc.mo.gov;


Ann Allert ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), United States Geological Survey, aallert@usgs.gov;


Susan Adams ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USDA Forest Service, Center for Bottomland Hardwoods Research, Southern Research Station, sadams01@fs.fed.us;


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