will be held on 16--20 September 2018,
in the Theater Maggiore in Verbania, Italy.


Conservation of freshwater mollusks is essential to maintain the important ecosystem functions and services they provide. Nonetheless, they are at risk as evidenced by their rapid and extensive global decline due to multiple causes, mainly of anthropic origin. Conservation strategies to stop this negative trend and maximize current biodiversity are urgently needed but are hampered by the lack of key information. Although in recent decades there have been an increasing number of studies on the ecology and conservation of these animals, the integration of knowledge acquired by different research groups is a key step for improving our efforts. Such integration would also help policy makers establish guidelines which can be applied in conservation management of these animals and their natural habitats.

The Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society (FMCS) can be a reference for everyone but, to date, the Society is primarily serving members in the United States and Canada. This recognition prompted the idea of expanding the Society's role on other continents, starting in Europe. Europe has been chosen because of the large number of active freshwater malacologists working in a number of countries. The organization of a FMCS Meeting outside of North America aims to expand the membership, share research and data with international colleagues, and foster wider collaboration. It is under this perspective that we want to introduce the upcoming 2018 meeting in Italy – hopefully, the first of a series of FMCS-sponsored international meetings.

The goals of this first international meeting are:

1.To start bringing together international experts in the biology and conservation of freshwater mollusks that will create a network of knowledge with the final goal of developing collaborative projects and, eventually, global directives for the protection and conservation of this important faunal group.
2. To provide, with this first step, an incentive for non-North American freshwater malacologists to become members of FMCS and participate in planned activities, Symposia, publications, and Workshops.
3. To start organizing local malacologists -- e.g. initially from Europe, but to be expanded to other continents around the world to provide structure and communication about resources, questions, advocacy, and collaboration. This will facilitate developing techniques to address similar problems encountered across freshwater molluscan research.
4. To start holding international meetings focused on all freshwater mollusks around the world. The two recent international freshwater bivalve meetings (Bragança, Portugal in 2012 and Buffalo, New York in 2015) were both exciting and fun with good participation. With this 2018 meeting in Europe, we want to start building an international network that includes all freshwater mollusks.

We have planned for three days of presentations on a variety of topics that cover all aspects of Malacology, targeting the latest research advances in both theoretical and applied issues. A number of internationally recognized keynote speakers will present the state of current research on these topics and, we expect, will spark debate and interest on research needs concerning the many ways mollusks affect society and ecosystems.


Call for Abstracts

2018 First International Meeting of the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society in Europe

Verbania, Italy September 16 – 20, 2018 The 2018

1st European FMCS Meeting Planning Committee WANTS YOU!

Oral and poster presentations will be accepted, but not limited to the following topics: Life History & Population Ecology, Status of Mollusks, Status and Distribution of Mollusks, Evolution and Systematics, Physiology and Reproductive Biology, Ecosystems and Community Ecology, Freshwater Mollusk Ecosystem Services, Habitat Restoration, Infrastructure: Impacts and Opportunities, Water Quality, Toxicology, Outreach, Conservation Genetics, Climate Change.

The abstract submission deadline for the 2018 1st European FMCS Meeting will be June 30, 2018. The symposium format will be both oral and poster. Oral presentations will be limited to 20 minutes (including the question and answer period). Poster size is limited to 80cm wide x 110cm height.

Abstracts for posters and oral presentations are limited to 300 words. Abstract title should appear in all caps and be followed by the author name(s), affiliation(s) and e-mail address(es). Abstracts should be written in Word utilizing Arial 11 point font, except for the title (12pt). Page format: A4; Margins: left 2,5cm; right 2cm; top 2cm; bottom 2cm. Paragraph: Lines must be 1.0 and fully justified.

Abstracts should include clearly stated objectives, brief methods, general results, and the basic conclusion. At the bottom of your abstract please indicate your preference of oral or poster presentation and if you are willing to switch formats.

Example abstract from a previous symposium:


Nicoletta Riccardi1, Manuel Lopes-Lima2,3,4, Davide Morea5, Giannandrea Carpanzano5, Angela Boggero1

1 Institute of Ecosystem Study, National Research Council, 28922 Verbania-Pallanza, Italy,;; 2 CIIMAR/CIMAR — Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, University of Porto, Terminal de Cruzeiros do Porto de Leixões, Avenida General Norton de Matos, S/N, P 4450-208 Matosinhos, Portugal, 3 CIBIO/InBIO - Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, Universidade do Porto, Campus Agrário de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal; 4 IUCN SSC Mollusc Specialist Group, c/o IUCN, David Attenborough Building, Pembroke St., Cambridge, England,; 5 Professione droni Srls Via Amico Canobio, 4/6, 28100 Novara Italy,

Without population trends of species, it is hard to assess the effects of pressures or the risk of extinction of species. However, monitoring the state of the populations of many taxa is hampered by the difficulties and the costs of surveys. This is the case of freshwater mussels that are declining rapidly due to habitat degradation worldwide. Driven by rising conservation concerns, the study of these taxa increased over the past few decades, but their conservation still faces several challenges. Foremost, acquiring the basic information (distribution, habitat preferences) crucial to freshwater mussels' conservation is impeded by inadequate funding. Potentially exacerbating this problem is the difficulty to survey freshwater mussels, because they are often rare, spatially clustered, and difficult to detect. In addition, mussel surveys are often hampered by restrictive environmental conditions, such as high water level, strong current, or high turbidity. As in a vicious circle, these constraints may dramatically increase the survey costs, exacerbating the problem of allocating (highly limited) funds. To escape this bottleneck we started exploring the potentiality of using underwater drones, which are being developed for our specific tasks, by a recently created start-up company. The use of drones is becoming increasingly popular in ecological research because of their versatile use in data capture. Drones are a beneficial tool not only for economical and safety reasons, but also for obtaining data that cannot be accessed otherwise. However, to date its use for research, monitoring and conservation have focused on aerial drones, surprisingly neglecting the underwater drones. We started to assessing the efficiency of the drone in locating and counting mussels, and exploring the limits for field application under gradients of environmental limitations, such as water turbidity, water depth, current velocity, slope of the bank, and substrate composition.

Preferred presentation format: Oral
Willing to switch Format: No

Submit your Abstract


Important Dates

Deadline for presenting a one page abstract June 30, 2018
Acceptance of the contributions - July 31, 2018


Meeting Registration

Registration for the Symposium will be opened on 8th January 2018.

Registration costs cover fees associated with our meeting space, equipment and AV needs for posters and presentations, welcome drink on Sunday16th September, morning and afternoon coffee breaks and light lunch on Monday 17th, Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19.

Check your email and the event website in the next few weeks for details regarding registration.


Early Registration (through April 30, 2018)

Student Member 250€
Student Non-Member 290€
Member 350€
Non-Member 420€

April 30 through August 31, 2018

Student Member 300€
Student Non-Member 340€
Member 400€
Non-Member 450€

A Payment Confirmation Notification will be sent to your email address, once your payment is processed successfully. For on-line payment, please print the confirmation of the bank. No other confirmation will be sent.

NOTE: Organization can NOT cover bank transfer fees and others costs regarding the fee payment.

Refund Policy:
• Until 31 May – 75%
• 1 June or later – no refund



The Symposium will take place at the theater "Il Maggiore", in the beautiful city of Verbania (Italy). Verbania is the capital city of the province of Verbano Cusio Ossola. Located in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy, on the shore of Lake Maggiore, about 91 km (57 mi) north-west of Milan and about 40 km (25 mi) from Locarno in Switzerland.

Located on the second largest lake in Italy, close to the Alps, Verbania is one of the most attractive touristic destinations in Northern Italy. Gardens and parks are a major tourist attraction of the area, an ideal destination for those seeking a relaxing holiday with, as backdrop, a landscape of breathtaking beauty and harmony.

(Section still under construction)

The Symposium location, in Intra, is located about 10 km away from the railway station: every 30 minutes a public bus (direction "Verbania Trobaso") pass through and reaches the hotel in 15 minutes.
For the bus schedule, we recommend you to visit the VCO Trasporti website.
To view train schedules, you should visit the Trenitalia website.

Ferry boat
From Laveno you can reach Verbania Intra in about 20 minutes crossing by ferry. The pier is approximately 10 minutes' walk from the Maggiore Theater. To view the ferry schedules, we suggest you to visit the site of the Navigazione Laghi.

By car
The A8 motorway connects Lake Maggiore with Milan. The A26 motorway connects the western shore of the lake with Alessandria, the Liguria region and the motorway A4 Milan-Turin. Direction: Gravellona Toce Exit: Verbania

From Switzerland: either over the Simplon Pass to Domodossola and then the A26 to Gravellona Toce, or over the Gotthard/S. Bernardino Passes to Locarno and southwards till Verbania.

The nearest airport is Milan Malpensa, where from you can reach Verbania thanks to the Alibus service (upon reservation). For details on the service, we suggest you to view the SAF Duemila site. Verbania is also accessible from Milan Linate airport: every 30 minutes a direct bus goes to Milan Centrale train station, from which there's a train about every hour, direct to Domodossola, stopping in Verbania

Links of Interest
Verbania Tourism
Verbania City Official Web Site



Since September is a high tourist month, folks should look for lodging early. Besides Hotels, there are several options like apartments, B&B, campings. To select the most convenient and closest accommodation in the search insert the locations Suna, Pallanza, Intra. CLICK HERE for the location of The Theater Maggiore.

As requested, HERE is a list of suitable accomodations: hotels, apartments, camping, etc.
(e.g. or

Invited Speakers

Dr. Mary Seddon

Dr. Mary Seddon is currently the Chair of the SSC’s Mollusc Specialist Group. She is also the head of Mollusca at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, based in Cardiff, UK. She’s been working there on the taxonomy, biogeography and systematics of European and African landsnails since 1990. The collections at Cardiff have international perspective, holding types and reference collections for about 40% of the world’s molluscan fauna, with particular concentrations from the former British Colonies. She became interested in conservation issues when working on the landsnail fauna of the Madeiran Islands, a unique archipelago in the North Atlantic, which has a very high number of endemic range restricted species. This fauna has protected species that are listed on the appendices of the European Habitats and Species Directive and this lead to involvement with the Threatened Species Assessment programmes of IUCN. Since 1994 Mary has served as a member of the Mollusc Specialist Group and since 1995 has directed volunteer activity on Red Lists.

Dr. Eike Neubert

Curator for Molluscs; Natural History Museum Bern
Bern, Switzerland

Dr. Neubert’s research interest is mainly focused on taxonomy and phylogeny of terrestrial gastropods on a worldwide scale with particular emphasis on Europe, Near and Middle East, Arabian Peninsula and Northern and Northeastern Africa. Since 2009 he was coordinator of the Red List Authority on the continental molluscs of Europe, a project, which brought together more than 40 malacologsist from the continent, and resulted in the IUCN Red List of European landsnails, finished in 2017. He will head the Red List Authority until 2020. In parallel, he is editor for terrestrial molluscs in the worldwide database MolluscaBase. During the last 30 years he published more than 80 peer-reviewed papers.

Dr. Wendell R. Haag

U.S. Forest Service
Frankfort, Kentucky, U.S.A.
Wendell Haag is a Research Fisheries Biologist with the U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 

His research on freshwater mussels spans 30 years and has explored a variety of topics, including life history, fish-host relationships, age and growth, population and assemblage dynamics, biogeography, and conservation issues.  He has authored over 50 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and books, including North American Freshwater Mussels: Natural History, Ecology, and Conservation (2012).  His current research focuses on identifying causes and mechanisms of mussel declines. He has served as co-editor of Freshwater Mollusk Biology and Conservation since 2012 and was Associate Editor of Freshwater Science from 2009 to 2015.

Dr. Manuel Lopes-Lima

Applied Ecology Group
CIBIO/InBIO - Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic ResourcesUniversity of Porto

He is currently the (IUCN/SSC) Coordinator of the Red List Authority on Freshwater Bivalves within the Mollusk Specialist Group. He founded and organized the Freshwater Bivalve International meeting series. His research interests are related with the global conservation of freshwater mussels including phylogeny, genetic diversity and ecophysiology. He is also an active promoter of international research efforts around this faunistic group, currently holding projects on the conservation of freshwater bivalves in several European, African and Asian countries.

Dr. Arthur Bogan
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America

Dr. Bogan's research is focused on developing a phylogeny of the freshwater bivalves of the world. Other research interests lie in developing a handbook on freshwater gastropods of North Carolina. He is also part of a collaboration team that's been formed to produce a photographic catalog of the nearly 1,000 named taxa in the North American freshwater gastropod family Pleuroceridae.

Dr. Jurgen Geist
Aquatic Systems Biology Unit
Technical University of Munich, Germany

Juergen Geist is a chair professor of Aquatic Systems Biology at Technical University of Munich. Dr. Geist´s research is directed to the development of system biology models for understanding chronological and spatial distribution of biodiversity in aquatic ecosystems by integrating molecular biology and ecology approaches. Focus is placed on the quality of the aquatic habitat, genetic and demographic structures of fish and mussel populations, aquatic food webs and the development of stress biomarkers to indicate pollution of water bodies. He advocates evidence-based conservation and restoration strategies in freshwater systems.



Organizing Committee
Nicoletta Riccardi – CNR - ISE, Italy;
Manuel Lopes-Lima - CIBIO, Porto University, Portugal;
Angela Boggero - CNR - ISE, Italy;
Maria Urbanska - Poznan University of Life Sciences, Poznan, Poland;
Simone Varandas – CITAB and Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro University, Portugal;
Amílcar Teixeira – CIMO and School of Agriculture of Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Portugal;
Serena Zaccara – University of Insubria, Italy;
Nicola Patocchi – Fondazione Bolle di Magadino, Switzerland;
Livia Renolfi – SUB Novara Laghi, Italy;
Alfonso Sacco - SUB Novara Laghi, Italy;
Marco Ronco – Rotary Club Pallanza Stresa;
Gianluca Manzoni – Rotaract Club Pallanza Stresa;

Scientific Committee
David Aldridge - Cambridge University, United Kingdom
Rafael Araujo - National Museum of Natural Sciences, Spain
Yulia Bespalaja - Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
Arthur Bogan, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, USA
Ivan Bolotov - Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia;
Lyubov Burlakova - Great Lakes Center, SUNY Buffalo State, USA
Karel Douda - Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Czech Republic
Heidi Dunn – Ecological Specialists, Inc. O'Fallon, USA
Elsa Froufe – CIIMAR and Porto University, Portugal
Jürgen Geist, Aquatic Systems Biology Unit, TU München, Germany
Wendell Haag - USDA Forest Service, USA
Alexander Karatayev - Great Lakes Center, SUNY Buffalo State, USA
Manuel Lopes Lima – CIBIO, Porto University, Portugal
Eike Neubert – Naturhistorisches Museum der Burgergemeinde, Bern, Switzerland
Theresa Newton – US Geological Survey La Crosse, USA
Vincent Prié - Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, France
Nicoletta Riccardi – CNR – ISE, Italy
Mary Seddon – IUCN, Mollusc Specialist Group, UK
Ronaldo Sousa – CIIMAR and Minho University, Portugal
David Strayer - Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, USA
Jouni Taskinen – University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Amílcar Teixeira – CIMO and School of Agriculture of Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Portugal
Maria Urbanska - Poznan University of Life Sciences, Poznan, Poland
Simone Varandas – CITAB and Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro University, Portugal
Caryn Vaughn - University of Oklahoma, USA
Ilya Vikhrev - Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
Tadeusz Zając - Institute of Nature Conservation, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
Dave Zanatta – Central Michigan University, USA
Alexandra Zieritz –University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Malaysia


Useful Information

Power sockets and plug converters for electricity in Italy: 

In Italy the standard voltage is 230 V. The standard frequency is 50 Hz. The power sockets that are used are of type L. 

You can use your electric appliances in Italy if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220V - 240V. If the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 100V - 127V, you need a power converter. If the label on the appliance states 'INPUT: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz', it can be used in all countries of the world.




The FMCS is a not-for-profit, dedicated to the advocacy and conservation science of freshwater mollusk resources. The FMCS workshop provides a great opportunity to network and build relationships with conservation professionals from state and federal government, industry, and conservation organizations. The Society has a membership of 500, and 250 members generally attend the biennial symposiums. Until now the company has mainly served the US and Canada members, but the need to expand its leading role to other continents has become increasingly evident. This recognition prompted the organization of the 1st FMCS Meeting outside of North America. Europe has been chosen because of the large number of active freshwater malacologists working in a number of countries. To help the society expand its role in guiding researchers and professionals constantly working to conserve freshwater mollusks and their ecosystem services, we need your help. We are requesting monetary SPONSORSHIP to help cover the costs of this First Meeting facilities. In addition to monetary contributions, FMCS is also accepting donations of equipment and other items to support our Student Scholarship Auction.

DONATE items for the world-famous FMCS auction to be held as part of the FMCS 2018 meeting in Verbania, Italy! Past items have included field equipment, rare books, T-shirts, art, jewelry, fishing gear, regional foods and beverages, and more. Proceeds go to FMCS student awards. Deliver to the registration desk, or auctioneer at the symposium. If you can't make the meeting in person or would rather ship, please send items to attention: Nicoletta Riccardi, CNR-Institute of Ecosystem Study, Largo Tonolli 50, 28922, Verbania, Italy (Phone 0039 347 5041411 / 0039 0323 518336/518300). Again, if shipping please clearly label that it is an FMCS auction item and indicate if a receipt is desired.
Thank you!

Nicoletta Riccardi, 2018 EU Meeting Co-Chair (
Manuel Lopes Lima, 2018 Symposium Co-Chair (
Not-for-Profit (501-(c) 3 corporation FMCS Federal Tax Identification Number – 43-1855280)

River* >$1000 One Complimentary Registration, Logo on Website Registration Page.
Page and Symposium materials.
Stream $500 - $1000

One Registration Reduced by 25%, Logo Displayed at the Welcome Mixer. Logo on Website Registration Page.

Eddy $100-$499 Logo on Website Registration Page.
Mussel <$100 Recognition in the Symposium Program.

* Upon request, we have added an additional benefit to the top-level "River" (>$1,000) sponsorships. Your organization will be given the option of displaying your own retractable banner-type freestanding displays, or table-top display. The FMCS Conference Committee will put them up around the meeting and during dinner functions. We ask that the displays be no more than 3ft-wide.




1st FMCS  International  Symposium, Verbania, Italy, 2018

Nicoletta Riccardi
CNR -Institute of Ecosystem Study
Largo Tonolli 50
28922 Verbania Pallanza,
phone +39 0323 518336 fax +39 0323 556513
mobile +39 347 5041411