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Symposia Sessions

We have a diverse set of topics in the symposium sessions at Mollusca 2014, all of which will prove to be exciting and stimulating. If you are interested in participating in a symposium, please contact the organizers directly. Abstracts should be submitted to the Mollusca 2014 and to the symposium organizer.  For abstract instructions please go to: http://sbnature.org/crc/805.html

The following symposia are planned:

Bivalvia of the Americas

While the bivalves of the Americas have been studied for over two centuries, we have only within the last decade begun strong partnerships between North and South American scientists who center their research on this diverse class of mollusks. By focusing on contemporary and future research projects, this symposium will address the state of art of bivalves in the Americas, highlighting our current knowledge of bivalve ecology, reproduction, culture, phylogeny, biogeography, and biodiversity, and potential ventures for future collaborations amongst bivalve researchers.

Contacts: Diego Zelaya, Departmento Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, UBA Ciudad Universitaria, Pab. 2,  4to piso, lab. 31 C1428EHA, Capital Federal Argentina, dzelaya@bg.fcen.uba.ar; Paul Valentich-Scott, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta del Sol, Santa Barbara, CA 93105 USA, pvscott@sbnature2.org.

Mollusks and Archaeology

Mollusks have played an important role in the history of humans, including their collection as a food source, their use as ornaments and jewelry, and as burial goods, among other uses. Recently, molluscan archaeology has become important in documenting and understanding the complex relationships humans have maintained with their environment and the impact of their activities. To this end, many researchers have used geochemical techniques, such as oxygen isotope analysis and paleo-environmental reconstructions among other methods. This symposium will focus on interdisciplinary topics that highlight the importance of mollusks in human societies, as well as their role in palaeoecological, chronological, environmental, cultural and taphonomic interpretations of archaeological sites, and prospects for conservation of this cultural heritage, particularly with shell midden sites.

Contacts: Miguel Téllez (mtellez@uabc.edu.mx), Carlos Figueroa carlosfigueroab@gmail.com), and Hans Bertsch (hansmarvida@sbcglobal.net)

Let's Talk About Opisthobranchia

Poster and oral presentations on topics related to opisthobranchs including biology, taxonomy and systematics, phylogeny and evolution, ecology, embryology, physiology, histology, and biochemistry. A keynote address will be given by Dr. Terrence Gosliner.

Contacts: Andrea Zamora Silva (andrea.zamora@bm.uib.no), Ángel A. Valdés (aavaldes@csupomona.edu), Deneb Ortigosa (jazmin.ortigosa@gmail.com).

Cephalopods of the Americas

Cephalopods present high variations on population dynamics (e.g. abundance fluctuations, expansion/contraction of geographical distribution) because of the high influence of environmental variables on key stages of their ontogeny. These fluctuations affect significantly both ecosystems and human activities. It is well known that cephalopods represent an important part of the marine food webs and variations in population abundances will influence other trophic levels directly (e.g. predation) and indirectly (e.g. competition). Many cephalopod species hold relevant fisheries in America. With many fish stocks currently being overexploited, cephalopods have become an even more important resource, so much so that untraditional deep-sea cephalopods are being considered for exploitation. Without proper management overexploitation may lead not only to a collapse of the cephalopod fishery but also to a negative impact on marine ecosystem.

This multi-disciplinary symposium will provide a forum for oral and poster presentations focused on the many roles cephalopods play in experimental biology, as well as the natural environment. The session will cover a wide range of topics, including ecology and evolution, genetics, fisheries, aquaculture, experimental biology, management and climate change.

Contacts: Carlos Rosas Vázquez (crv@ciencias.unam.mx) and Unai Marcaida (umarkaida@ecosur.mx)

Aquaculture of Mollusks

In recent years, molluscan aquaculture has become a reality.  There is a large need for more aquatic species to be cultured for human consumption. We invite all malacologists who are developing new procedures, improving techniques, or developing new pathways for mollusk aquaculture to participate in this symposium.

Contacts: Fabiola Lafarga (flafarga@cicese.mx)and Miguel Angel del Río (mdelrio@cicese.mx)

Molluscan Genomics

The development and reduced cost of new sequencing techniques has allowed the analysis of non-model molluscan species and the development of new molecular markers, the development of genome, transcriptome and proteomic analysis, as well as the functional genomics and population genetics. We invite all researchers working on molluscan genomics to participate in this symposium.

Contacts: Fabiola Lafarga (flafarga@cicese.mx)and Miguel Angel del Río (mdelrio@cicese.mx)

The Future of Malacology: A Perspective from Malacology Students

This symposium will solicit oral presentations from active students and recent graduates to express their views on trends in malacological research. They are encouraged to propose guidelines to develop research on mollusks, to innovate methodologies, to identify emerging research directions, to promote discussions on controversial ideas, to address deficiencies in malacological research, and to identify urgent issues to the molluscan community.

Contacts: Martha Reguero (reguero@cmarl.unam.mx), Edgar Heimer (heimer@unam.mx)

Terrestrial Mollusks of the Americas:
Diversity and Relationships in Vanishing Habitats

The symposium will focus on diversity and relationships of terrestrial mollusks on both American continents and the islands in between. Relationships will include biogeography and phylogeny. As one of the most threatened groups of animals, the consequenses of the nearly omnipresent loss of terrestrial mollusk habitat will be a primary topic, as well as destroyed type localities and lost diversity. Therefore, a wide range of topics from more academic questions to related aspects of conservation will be addressed.

Contacts: Ira Richling (ira@helicina.de), Stuttgart State Museum of Natural History, Germany

Mollusks as Environmental Indicators: A synthesis

Common, highly visible, vital to sustaining many ecosystems and economically important on a global scale, mollusks have been used as model systems and indicators in a multitude of areas ranging from archeology through behavior and communication. They are ideal subjects to look into anthropogenic impacts and are actively used as models in climate change research. Terrestrial and freshwater species are especially sensitive and good barometers of environmental health. Indeed most extinct species are non-marine forms. This symposium aims to provide an opportunity to discuss and promote the use of mollusks as environmental indicators.

Contact: Helena Fortunato (helenaf@mail.sci.hokudai.ac.jp), Hokkaido University, Japan.

Talking About Ecology of Marine Molluscs

The aim of this symposium is to bring together some contributions on the ecology of marine molluscs. In addition, contributed papers presented in this symposium (oral or poster) could be published in the Journal Thalassas; if they are accepted after the usual editorial and referee procedures. Instructions to authors can be found in any issue of Thalassas or in the Journal website: (http://webs.uvigo.es/thalassas/thalassas_marco%20principal.htm).

Contact: Jesús S. Troncoso (troncoso@uvigo.es), Marine Sciences Faculty, University of Vigo, Spain.

Systematics and taxonomy of freshwater and terrestrial gastropods


The need to have a biodiversity inventory, in alliance with molecular biology advances, adopting cladistics techniques, or refining methods in general, will take to a revival of the systematics and taxonomy. Still, our knowledge about systematics of diverse freshwater and terrestrial Gastropoda groups, in particular in South America is precarious, especially if we consider the vastness of the unexplored American territories and the shortage of professionals in these groups. This symposium aims to promote discussion about the current state of our knowledge of freshwater and terrestrial gastropod systematics, and to develop coordinated initiatives to train systematists and taxonomists.

Contacts: Sonia Barbosa dos Santos (sbsantos@uerj.br or malacosonia@gmail.com), Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil