Marla L. Coppolino
Master of Science Candidate
Department of Zoology
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Research Work Abstract:
Land Snail Abundance and Diversity in Six Southern Illinois Counties with Associated Ecological Variables
Land snails have been recognized as a group of conservation concern in the state of Illinois (USA). Nine out of thirteen threatened or endangered terrestrial gastropods species listed in the Illinois Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan are known to have extant populations in southern Illinois. I am conducting surveys of land snails at 60 sites in a six-county area of southwestern Illinois, bordering the Mississippi River. These sites represent the areas of highest gastropod diversity in Illinois and are currently believed to support at least 90 living species. This region also includes the greatest diversity of vegetation in the state, and comprises several areas with high-calcium, high-pH soils. Although previous collectors have contributed to records of snail occurrences in this region, none have provided quantitative data or accompanying soil studies. I am employing a quantitative method (timed searches in replicated square-meter quadrats), as well as more qualitative methods (e.g., leaf litter sampling) to maximize diversity recovery. Data on ecological variables including rock type, soil chemistry and various microhabitat variables are also being collected. To date, representatives of more than 60 species have been found at the 60 sites surveyed. Preliminary analyses show dignificant differences among sites in terms of abundance and diversity. Sites showing the highest levels of both parameters were in areas of limestone; lowest levels occurred in areas of shale.
Currently in process of completion of Master of Science in Zoology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Expected graduation: May 2009.
Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences, 1991, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. Minor: Zoology.
Terrestrial gastropods, mollusk conservation, terrestrial ecology, museum collections management, biological illustration
Selected Professional Experience
Collections Manager, Malacology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, 2004 to 2006. Collections management of Mollusca (of dry, alcohol-preserved, type, and photographic transparency collections), database management, website design and maintenance, registrarial work, participation in public educational programs, and assisting curator/supervisor (Dr. Paula Mikkelsen) with research needs, including collections duties, scientific illustration, scanning electron microscopy, histology.
Biological Technician II, Fish & Wildlife Associates, Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1992. Contract work for Tennessee Valley Authority, Aquatic Biology Laboratory, Zebra Mussel Monitoring Project. Collected field samples and checked for presence of zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) veligers in Tennessee rivers and lakes. Also worked on monitoring project for Asiatic clams (Corbicula fluminea).
Biological Illustrator and Artist, 1992 to present. Pen and ink, watercolor, carbon dust, oil and mixed media works for scientific publications, magazines and original works exhibited in major cities around the world. Click here to see examples.
Internship in Herpetology Department, Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia; 1991. Maintenance of exhibits, preparation of diets, and care of animals in education and reptile departments.
Presentations (also see Outreach)
Memberships and Professional Recognition
c/o Dr. Frank Anderson
Department of Zoology, Mailcode 6501
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-6501
email: marlacoppolino (at) gmail.com
Page last updated:
Site content, images and website development by Marla L. Coppolino. Please cite as:
Coppolino, M.L. 2009. Land Snails of Southern Illinois. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, USA. http://mypage.siu.edu/mlcopp accessed on [today's date].
Southern Illinois Land Snails - Southern Illinois Land Snails Species Checklist
Southern Illinois University - SIUC College of Science - SIUC Department of Zoology - ZGSA at SIUC
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