The Malacologist | The Malacological Society of London The Malacological Society of London The Malacologist

Volume 51

The Society's Awards

Overall, The Society is very pleased with the number of applications that it receives for Travel Awards and Research Grants. The schemes seem to be achieving their global aim which is to enable young scientists to engage in Malacological research both in the laboratory and at meetings. Reports from researchers funded through both schemes appear in The Malacologist.

The Society aims to make the following awards annually:

Travel Awards - at least 5 each of up to £500

Research Grants -  at least 5 each of up to £1000

Application forms and guidance notes for both schemes can be downloaded from The Society's website.

Travel Awards

Through the year we received two applications from researchers for Awards to Travel to meetings or to undertake research in laboratories away from the applicants' home country.

All Travel Award applications are reviewed by an Awards Committee. The Society is pleased to have made the following awards:

Katerina Douka, University of Oxford (£500) to travel to ICAZ 2008 - Archaeomalacology working group

Martine Claremont, Natural History Museum (London) (£500) to attend the Congress of the European Malacological Societies

In addition, £392 was provided to the organisers of a Meeting entitled J.Knudsen 60+ years in malacology: global imprints and foresight in taxonomy for student attendance; Andre Sartori of the University of Cambridge was the recipient of this award.

Therefore a total of £ 1,392 has been provided by The Society for Travel Awards. All applicants have been notified of the outcome.

Research Grants

By the closing date of 15th December The Society had received twenty-eight applications from workers in twelve different countries. As in previous years, the scientific quality of the research projects submitted was excellent. On behalf of The Society, I would like to formally thank the members of the Grants Review Panel for their hard work reviewing all applications. The following awards have been agreed by the Panel:

Ellinor Michel, Natural History Museum London, UK    £1000 for
The Tanganyika Problem: Molecular Tests of Hypothesis of Origin for Lacustrine and Fluvial Endemic Gastropods in the East African Rift.

Ursula Smith, Cornell University, USA  £844 for
Identification of Heterochronic Mode in the New Zealand Turritellid Genus Stiracolpus.

Marina Zieger, University of Michigan, USA   £1000 for 
The Functional Organisation of Retina and Optic Nerve in Gastropod Snail Lymnaea stagnalis.

Rachel Walton, University of Manchester, UK   £890 for
The Impact of Aluminium and Silicon on the Shell Strength of Lymnaea stagnalis

Francesco Pilotto, University of Inserbia of Varese, Italy   £445 for
Impacts of the Invasive Zebra Mussel on Native Unionid Bivalves

Steven Brady, Yale University, USA   £1000 for
Urbanisation and rapid evolution of the Marsh Pond Snail (Stagnicola elodes)

Stephanie Aktipis, Harvard University, USA   £988 for
Phylogenetic Patterns of Evolution and Diversification of the Archaeogastropoda

Janine Arruda, Pontificia Universi  dade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul   £968 for
Cladistic Analysis of Omalonyx d' Orbigny

Juan Cueto, University of Cuyo, Argentina   £957 for
Hemopoiesis in the Freshwater Gastropod Pomacea canaliculata and Bioindication of Environmental Pollutants.

Kevin Kocot, Auburn University, USA   £806 for
Investigation of the Phylogeny of the Mollusca Using Multiple Nuclear Protein Coding Genes

Therefore ten Research Grants have been funded at a total cost of £8898. The success rate was 36 %. The Awards Panel would like to emphasise that the quality of all applications was high and that it funded as many projects as possible. Applicants have been formally notified of the outcome of their application.

Anthony Walker

The Annual Award

There was only one submission for the annual award this year. Despite a lack of competition, by comparison with award winners in previous years,  this report was adjudged by the Annual Awards panel to be definitely of sufficiently quality to justify receiving the award. Council therefore is pleased to announce that the award goes to

Manuel Malaquias

for his thesis entitled

Systematics, evolution and ecology of Bullidae (Mollusca: Gastopoda) with a molecular phylogeny of the order Cepalaspidea.

 With a history which places their origins in the Eocene Tethys, bubble snails (Bullidae) occur  across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Vicariance and dispersal have been important in the evolution of the Bullidae, which have allopatrically speciated. As a result of his research , Manuel hypothesises that the southern Australian species is a Tethyan relict. Across the twelve species, most are herbivorous, though carnivory has arisen twice. Three monophyletic groups were revealed by molecular phylogenetic methods.

The thesis comprises a closely-argued integration of results from classical anatomical and molecular techniques, profusely illustrated with excellent line drawings and photographs, with a strong narrative line and clear outcomes. The adjudicating panel agreed that the thesis was a worthy subject for the award.

Manuel gives a brief account of his work here.

Georges Dussart and Bill Bailey

The Education Awards

These awards of £200 to each school are for the work of school children who have made a genuine effort to engage with the science and natural history of molluscs. The criteria are that the work should

·   be clearly the work of students

·   be original and imaginative

·   be well-presented

·   promote interest in  the study of molluscs.

This year the three winning entries were:

What stimuli cause a Giant African Land Snail to retract its tentacles?
Nominated by Phil Ryan on behalf of Year 6 (11 years), The Minster School, Deansgate, York YO1 7JA.

Why do snails climb?
Nominated by Jane Ward-Booth on behalf of pupils aged 11 year at Debden Church of England Primary School, High St Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex.

How does the slug Limax pseudoflavus detect and locate food?
Nominated by Brendan Glass on behalf of Clongowes Wood College, Naas, Co. Kildare, Ireland, for work by Henry Glass (aged 16 years).