provided to The Santiva Chronicle
The 2022 meeting of the Florida United Malacologists (FUM) was held at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on February 2nd. The all day gathering was organized by Dr. José H. Leal, Science Director and Curator of the National Shell Museum.
FUM annually brings together a vibrant community of researchers, collectors, scholars, citizen scientists, enthusiasts, and students in the field of malacology: the study of mollusks
“One of the unique aspects of FUM is that all have a voice, from local shell enthusiasts to seasoned scientists,” said Dr. Leal. “FUM provides a forum for cross-platform collaborations and mutual learning at levels unknown in more formal academic gatherings.”
FUM 2022 followed the pattern of similar gatherings such as BAM (Bay Area Malacologists), MAM (Mid-Atlantic Malacologists), and OVUM (Ohio Valley United Malacologists). This was the twelfth year of FUM, with the first event taking place at the Museum in 2010.
The meeting covered a diverse series of topics including the latest in molluscan biodiversity, conservation, genetics, and ecology. Eighteen speakers presented to an audience of 90 attendees on topics such as the lifespan and conservation status of the iconic Horse Conch, studies of microplastics levels in Tampa Bay, novel enrichment strategies for mollusks in public, and educational aquariums.
“The Museum extends its gratitude to Dr. Leal for his leadership and the presenters for sharing their knowledge and to each of the attendees for contributing to the conversation and advancing the cause, impact, and enjoyment of malacology here in Florida,” said Sam Ankerson, Executive Director of the National Shell Museum.
Visit ShellMuseum.org/2022-fum to view presenter abstracts and learn more.