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A Sip of Science – The Surprising Life of Native Mussels

September 12, 2012 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

“Think of mussels as the ‘coral reefs’ of freshwater systems.” Mike Davis

Freshwater mussels are one of the most endangered animal groups in North America, but the role of these mollusks in freshwater ecosystems, including our own Mississippi River, is vital to the survival of other animals and to the stability of the food chain. Freshwater mussels improve water quality in rivers and streams, allowing greater light penetration for algae and other organisms to grow, and they act as excellent indicators of environmental changes. Mussels have mutually beneficial relationships with many species of fish, providing them with nutrients that benefit other animals and humans who eat the fish.

Join mussel researcher Mark Hove in a discussion of these aquatic creatures, including the curious strategies native mussels employ to successfully reproduce, how mussels help not only rivers but people, the anthropogenic impacts on mussels, and mussel conservation.

The talk takes place during happy hour at the Aster Cafe || Food and Drink Available for Purchase


Mark Hove learned about mussels while getting his MS in Fisheries Science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and his recent research has focused on freshwater mussel conservation and habitat, as well as approaches to identifying juvenile freshwater mussels recovered from infested fishes. He currently works as a malacologist at the University of Minnesota and Macalester College.


A SIP OF SCIENCE is a science happy hour sponsored by the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics (NCED). It is a chance to hear about new and exciting research over beer, in a cool bar.  Come talk with the experts about their efforts to address some of the Earth’s most pressing problems. NCED’s A SIP OF SCIENCE brings the wonder of science to happy hour.

Get more information here.


September 12, 2012
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm