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Mollusk Researchers at NHM

Lindsey T. Groves, Collections Manager

M.S. Geology, California State University, Northridge, 1991

B.S. Geology, Northern Arizona University, 1983

In 1988, Lindsey came to the Museum as a Curatorial Assistant on a National Science Foundation (NSF) collection grant. Back then he was also pursuing his M.S. in geology with an emphasis on molluscan paleontology at California State University, Northridge. After completing his thesis he was promoted to Project Manager to assist on a subsequent NSF grant to begin collection computerization. When the Malacology and Invertebrate Paleontology (IP) Departments merged together in 1993 Lindsey was promoted to Collections Manager for both sections. Then in 2002 when a new IP Collections Manager was hired he returned to the Malacology Department full time. Current projects include two databasing projects: the world-wide gastropods project and the gastropod voucher material of the northeast Pacific for Curator Emeritus James McLean.

Recent publications

James H. McLean, Curator Emeritus

Ph.D. Zoology, Stanford University, 1966

B.A. Zoology, Wesleyan University, 1958

Dr. James McLean became Curator of Malacology in 1964 just prior to the completion of his Ph.D. In 2001, after a career that spanned almost 40 years, he retired from his curatorial position and received Curator Emeritus status. Dr. McLean remains active in his gastropod research and is currently working on two large monographs. His work has focused on the systematics of marine gastropods of the Eastern Pacific, with particular interests in Patellogastropoda and the Vetigastropoda, particularly the families Fissurellidae, Trochidae, Turbinidae, Colloniidae, and Liotiidae, as well as the neogastropod family Turridae. Following the discovery of hydrothermal communities, in 1977, Dr. McLean studied and named a number of limpet families from that community. His interest in the gastropod fauna of the northeast Pacific resulted in the handbook Marine Shells of Southern California (1969, revised 1978).

Recent publications

Janice Lipeles, Volunteer

Jan is a retired microbiologist and attorney and she has been assisting the Malacology Department since 2001. She has refined the skills needed for  extracting micromollusks from sediment samples. This tedious work requires excellent hand-and-eye coordination and extraordinary patience.

Robert Moore, Volunteer

Bob is a retired biology teacher with an interest in shells of the Eastern Pacific, especially Californian species. He is currently sorting and identifying a collection of mollusks collected in South Africa by Curator Emeritus Dr. McLean.

Shawn Wiedrick, Volunteer

Shawn began collecting shells at the age of five and consequently became  interested in marine biology more broadly. Initially his conchological interests were strictly Eastern Pacific species, which has since progressed into other biogeographic regions. He joined the Pacific Conchological Club in 2005  and is their current president. Shawn has published papers in Los Conchas, The Festivus, and Novapex and has described several species new to science. His main interest is microturriform Conidae of the Indo-Pacific region and he is currently reorganizing this group in the collection.

Patrick I. LaFollette, Museum Associate

Pat specializes in the systematics of the family Pyramidellidae (pyram or pyramid shells). Many of the species are microscopic, they are diverse, and can be challenging to the untrained eye. Back in 1985, Pat created the first electronic database for the Malacology Department. The database was state of the art. Over the years it has grown immensely and remains the core of our collections database infrastructure today. Pat is also expert in locating rare mollusk literature on the web.

Adolfo Lopez, S.J., Museum Associate

Father (Dr.) Al visits the Malacology Department for several months each summer from the Unversity of Central America, Managua, Nicaragua researching terrestrial and freshwater mollusks of Central America. He is also a Jesuit priest and performs his duties at nearby St. Thomas the Apostle Church.

Dr. Angel Valdes, Research Associate

Ph.D., Zoology, Universidad de Oviedo, Spain, 1996

B.S., Biology Universidad de Oviedo, Spain, 1993

Ángel is Assistant Professor of Biology at California Polytechnic University, Pomona where he teaches evolutionary biology. His research interest is the phylogenetic systematics and biogeography of opisthobranch mollusks. He has published more than 50 papers on this subject, describing more than 70 new taxa and unraveling the phylogenetic relationships of several opisthobranch clades. He was Curator of Malacology at the Museum from 2001 until 2007. Click here for more information about Ángel's research.