The Annual Award
This is a single award for an exceptionally promising initial contribution to the study of molluscs. This year there were four entries, all in the form of theses and associated publications. The standard of each entry was very high but the judging panel of Bill Bailey, Richard Preece and David Aldridge were unanimous in their decision that the annual award goes to:
Dr. Jurgen Geist of the Technical University of Munich for his thesis and associated publications on Conservation Genetics and Ecology of European Pearl Mussels (Margaritifera margaritifera L.)
This highly original work covers a range of techniques from ecological sampling of mussels and host fish , development of micro satellite markers for the delineation of populations and conservation units, and the use of stable isotopes as an environmental record. The breadth of techniques is complimented by the quantity of his sampling sites and the depth of understanding of the significance in molecular ecology in guiding conservation strategies. The thesis was clearly presented and written in beautiful English which is not the writer's native language. At the time of submission, two chapters had been published - in Molecular Ecology and Molecular Ecology Notes, a third was in press in Geochima Cosmochimica Acta, a fourth was accepted for Aquatic Conservation and a fifth had been submitted.
Stuart Bailey, Past President.
The first award of £200 in this new award of The Society goes to Portway Junior School, Andover, for their class project "All snails eat cabbage, don't they?"
Georges Dussart, President
Council at its meeting of the 1st February approved six travel grants, all for students to attend conferences. Four of these were for the International Congress on Bivalvia in July in Barcelona.
Research Grants 2006
These were 23 applications. The adjudicators, Bill Bailey, Villie Flari and Tony Walker decided to award eight grants totaling £7055. The winners were:
Timothy Edgell. University of New Brunswick, Canada to study the evolution of phenotypic plasticity in a marine gastropod (£1000)
Yolanda Garcia, University of Costa Rica, for a morphological and molecular study of the geminate species of opisthobranch molluscs from the Central American isthmus (£1000)
Adele Gringon, University of Nottingham UK, for a study of the genetic evidence for a Scandinavian origin of land snails in Iceland and Canada. (£1000)
Dinarzarde Raheem, Natural History Museum, London, U.K. for a study of the persistence and conservation of Sri Lankan rainforest snails in a landscape of fragmented forest and modified habitats. (£1000)
Jose Ruiz, University of Malaga, Spain, for a study of the biology and ecology of Smaragdia viridis (LInnaeus,1758) and its link with sea grasses (£595)
Roland Schultheiss, University of Grossen, Germany, to study the systematics and character evolution of Pisidium (Bivalvia) in the ancient lakes Ohrid and Prespa (£1000)
Lucy Turner, Marine Biological Association, Plymouth, U.K. for a study of the molecular phylogeny of the family Chromodoridae based on COX1, 16S rDNA and 18s rDNA data (£500)
Becky Williams, University of California Berkeley USA to evaluate tetrodotoxin production by symbiotic bacteria in blue ringed octopuses (Haplochlaena) (£960).
Tony Walker Awards Officer.