Molluscs in Ancient Lakes - An Ecological Perspective
Symposium - Thursday April 2nd, 2009
In the Linnean Society, London
on the event of the Annual General Meeting of the  Malacological Society

Ancient lakes are well known as aquatic island systems with high alpha and beta species diversity.
Molluscs, especially gastropods, have formed a number of diverse endemic radiations in these systems. Ecological context is often not the first line of research in these systems, though it might be the most critical for determining mechanisms of divergence and co-existence. This symposium will bring together specialists who have approached the ecology of molluscan species flocks in several ancient lake systems and using a range of methods. The speakers will cover many of the big topics in ecology for these systems: food, babies, parasites, deep time, communities and conservation.
This symposium will be relevant to all with an interest in mechanisms of diversification in species-rich groups in island systems or in benthic ecology in aquatic systems.


10:45 Arrivals
11:00 Georges Dussart (President Malac Soc & Canterbury Univ.) - Opening and welcoming remarks
11:10 Ellinor Michel (Natural History Museum, London) - Introduction to Ancient Lakes as Model Systems
11:20 Thomas von Rintelen (Museum fuer Naturkunde & Humboldt Univ., Berlin, DE) - Show me thy teeth: Tophic morphology in the gastropod species radiations of the ancient lakes of Sulawesi
12:00 Peter McIntyre (Univ. Michigan, USA) - Life history and trophic ecology in a Lake Tanganyika (E. Africa) gastropod radiation: an experimental isotopic approach
12:40 Lunch (including MalacSoc AGM meeting)
1:40 Martin Genner (Univ. Bristol & MBA, UK) - Invasives vs. endemics in Lake Malawi (E. Africa): Competitive advantage, parasite release and massive multiplication of Melanoides
2:20 Frank Wesselingh (Naturalis, Natural History Museum, Leiden, NL) - The changing ecological context for molluscs in long-lived lakes through deep time.
3:00 Tea and coffee and posters
3:40 Thomas Wilke (Univ. Giessen, DE) - Does ecology drive the evolution of endemic gastropod species in ancient Lake Ohrid (Macedonia)?
4:20 Christian Albrecht (Univ. Giessen) - Lost and Found: Conservation of ancient lake molluscs
5:00 Depart punctually for further discussion in local hostelry

• Poster contributions on freshwater molluscs are welcome.
• Advance registration is requested (to allow us to provide appropriate refreshments in the poster session/coffee break) by writing to
• A nominal contribution of 5 GBP is requested on arrival.

Directions to the LinnSoc are available on

Weblinks for speakers:

Dr Ellinor Michel
Dr Thomas von Rintelen
Dr Peter McIntyre
Dr Martin Genner
Dr Frank Wesselingh
Prof. Thomas Wilke
Dr Christian Albrecht