The Shad Mussel Connection

I wanted to post this link that showed up on Facebook today regarding the work that Katie Bockrath did to help identify the fish using freshwater mussels as egg habitats - a completely novel observation of this behavior in North American fishes. while the genetics is these days pretty straightforward, natural resources managers are very intrigued about this discovery!



I may be lousy with a brush or pencil, but I do like making figures. Here is one I made today that uses R to plot data from the Scenic and Wild Rivers maps with state boundaries, along with the lat-longs of sample locations for the freshwater mussel Elliptio dariensis, and a Structure genotype plot to match the locations (prettied up with Adobe Illustrator):

Keeping it Unreal

One of my favorite local cartoonists (his work was shown previously in the “Zombie Semester” entry) is Joe Havasy. A bizarre blend of biology with gory illustration and pop colors is what attracts me to the paintings in my office of a squid catching and squeezing a whale on a brilliant bubbly background. Here, Joe actually makes some of our least attractive study organisms - freshwater mussels - look very cool indeed (as they are!):