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Tom Coote

Graduate Student (PhD)


Tom Coote earned his MS from the Department of Environmental Studies at Bard Colleg in 1994, where he studied growth rate of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) as a function of density within the aquacultural setting. He received his BA from the the Department of Environmental Studies at Simon’s Rock College of Bard in 1990. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Landscape Ecology Lab in the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Tomm's dissertation research is entitled: Marstonia lustrica: the landscape ecology and genetics of an endangered snail.

Marstonia lustrica is a poorly understood aquatic snail, relatively rare throughout its range and listed in the State of Massachusetts as Endangered. Its presence in Massachusetts raises several questions, both practical and theoretical. These include questions about its ecology, biogeography, our understanding of glaciation in southern New England, and the snail’s relationship to the landscape across its range. Additionally, due to its status as endangered, it merits protection under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act, which creates challenges for lake managers and state authorities.

By using genetics to examine the relationship between the snail and the landscape, Tom will be able to place its conservation in Massachusetts into context. Genetic analysis provides fine scale data, which reflect the impact of the structure and function of the landscape on M. lustrica over time. It allows the examination of M. lustrica across its full geographical range without determining a priori distinct populations, or the various landscape features that may impact the species.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Kevin McGarigal
Department of Environmental Conservation
University of Massachusetts
304 Holdsworth Natural Resources Center
Box 34210, Amherst, MA 01003
Fax: (413) 545-4358; Phone: (413) 577-0655

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