FMCS 2019 Symposium – San Antonio TX – April 14th – 18th, 2019

Life on the Edge:
reconciling human needs and freshwater mollusk conservation
AUCTION TIME IN TEXAS!! Auction items are needed, please DONATE items for the world-famous FMCS auction to be held at the FMCS 2019 Symposium in San Antonio, Texas! Past items have included rare and unusual things, field equipment, rare books, T-shirts/clothing, art, photos, jewelry, fishing gear, foods, beverages, and more (including river booty). Proceeds go to FMCS student awards. Since many people will be flying you can pack small items in your suitcase, too big to pack? can't attend? You can still donate. Ship that big ol' box of goodies to the address below. At the Symposium bring items to the registration desk, or give to Charles Randklev, Lisie Kitchel or auctioneer Greg Zimmerman. Greg is filling in for infamous auctioneer Steve Ahlstedt this year, so let's make Steve proud and bring lots of items! Be sure to label your item with your name/organization if you would like to be recognized for the donation.
If you can't make the meeting in person or would rather ship, please send items to Attention:
FMCS Auction, c/o Roel Lopez, 1919 Oakwell Farms Parkway, Suite 100, San Antonio, TX 78218
If shipping please clearly label that it is an FMCS auction item and indicate if a receipt is desired. If you have any questions give Lisie Kitchel a call at 608-220-5180 or e-mail

• FMCS 2019 Symposium Meeting Program - Download pdf HERE

The 11th Biennial FMCS Symposium will be held on April 14th-18th, at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk, in downtown San Antonio, Texas. The meeting theme is Life on the Edge: reconciling human needs and freshwater mollusk conservation. The goal for this symposium is to focus on the ways in which humans and freshwater systems can coexist to ensure the long-term persistence of freshwater mollusks. The symposium will bring together regulators, researchers, consultants and enthusiasts in a forum that will allow for collaboration opportunities and information exchange. Several internationally-recognized speakers have been invited and we will also host one workshop that will cover conservation genetics and species status assessments.


Meeting Registration

Registration for the San Antonio Symposium will open on November 1st., 2018. Watch your email and the event website page for details regarding registration.

Early Registration (through February 28, 2019)
Student / Retiree Member $325
Student / Retiree Non-Member $375
Member $450
Non-Member $550

Late registration (from March 1 to March 14, 2019)
Student / Retiree Member $350
Student / Retiree Non-Member $400
Member $500
Non-Member $600

After March 14 Registration will be "On-Site/Walk-up" only


Location & Travel

The Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk is conveniently located in downtown San Antonio on the Riverwalk. The hotel is a 5 minutes' walk away from the Alamo and a number of restaurants and bars, including the Buckhorn Saloon (
San Antonio International airport can be reached in 20 minutes by car from the hotel. While there are no shuttles from the airport, taxi and "Ubers" are available.



Rate and Reservation Information
Hotel rooms will be $126/night for a king and $151/night for a double. Standard Internet is included. Reservations can also be made online or by calling (210) 222-1234.
If calling, be sure to say, "I want the 2019 FMCS/Symposium April 2019 rate." If booking online, use the corporate group code G-FMCS."
Last day to book rooms at this rate is March 18, 2019. Currently, overnight valet parking is $43 with "in and out" privileges, and overnight self-parking is available for $31 plus tax.


Call for Abstracts

The 2019 San Antonio FMCS Symposium 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 2019 Symposium will be February 28th, 2019. 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 4' by 4' feet.

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 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 - click here

Submit your abstract: CLICK HERE -


On Sunday, April 14, we will host a Workshop that will be split into two half-day sessions; the first half will cover Conservation Genetics, and the second half will cover Species Status Assessments.

$125 for regular members, $200 for non-members• and $75 for students.

*Fee pertains to both non-members and student non-members.


Analysis of genetic data has become an integral tool for assessing the conservation status of species, and understanding genetic variation informs the 3 Rs (representation, resiliency, and redundancy) that are the centerpiece of the revised USFWS Species Status Assessment. In addition to providing information on the amount and distribution of genetic variation in natural populations, genetic data can help to guide propagation and management of captive populations, construct pedigrees, detect and predict the effects of population fragmentation, and identify hybrid individuals. A degree in genetics is not required to take advantage of the information genetic data can provide. Anyone with a basic understanding of genetics, ecology, and conservation biology can understand how genetic information can be useful in their conservation endeavors. The workshop will provide attendees with an appreciation for the value of genetic information for informing conservation and management actions. For more information contact Kevin Roe (


The Species Status Assessment (SSA) Framework is an analytical approach developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct biological assessments to inform all Endangered Species Act (ESA) decisions. This SSA Workshop will introduce participants to the purpose of SSA, familiarize them with the SSA Framework, and show the application of the SSA to freshwater mussels using case studies from across the country. Given the substantial number of mussels that have either recently been evaluated for ESA listing using SSAs or are currently undergoing analysis, it is important for biologists working with freshwater mussels, whether from management agencies, research institutions, or consultants, to understand the basic SSA approach and how the Fish and Wildlife Service applies it for ESA decisions. The SSA Framework will also be integral for future decisions on mussels already listed under the ESA, such as 5-year status reviews and recovery planning. For background on the SSA Framework see the recent publication here: Authors from this paper will be leading the SSA Workshop. For more information contact Susan Oetker (


Field Trips

REGISTRATION COST: $125 per person

San Antonio is just southeast of the Texas Hill Country, one of the most beautiful regions in Texas, famous for its wildflower-lined roadways and beautiful small towns. Start the day with climbing Enchanted Rock, a dome of pink granite rising 425ft above ground and one of the largest batholiths in the US, offering a great view of the surrounding rolling hills. Then stroll along Main Street in Fredericksburg and enjoy your lunch in a beer garden. Visit the nearby LBJ Ranch at the Pedernales River, where Lyndon B Johnson, the 36th President of the United States, lived and died. End the day listening to live-music in legendary Luckenbach, which was made famous in a country song by Waylon Jennings.

REGISTRATION COST: $100 per person

Come and find hidden gems in the most flash-flood prone area in the United States, Central Texas. Our gems include several endemic species in the Guadalupe River basin, you don't want to miss. Lunch will be BBQ in Lockhart, the BBQ capital of Texas.

Space is limited to 25 people per trip so register soon.
For more information contact Astrid Schwalb (


Join us to kayak a section of the San Antonio River Mission Reach. Take in the sights and sounds of this recently restored section of urban stream just downstream of bustling San Antonio. Topics of discussion will include the massive ecosystem restoration which has given rise to a few projects set out to explore the ecological lift of the area as well as the ongoing Mission Reach Mussel Survivability Study being conducted by the San Antonio River Authority. Visit one of the mussel study sites and have a hands on look at the gear and the mussels used in the study. This trip is being completely furnished by the San Antonio River Authority and will include transportation to and from the conference hotel as well as a kayak, paddle and lifejacket.
For more information, contact Christopher Vaughn


Student Mixer

Metamorphic Mixer: Welcome students and new professionals to FMCS Did you make it to the Student-Mentor Mixer in Cleveland? Are you willing to invest time talking to students and young professionals joining FMCS and beginning their pursuit of their shell-based careers? We are organizing another mixer at the 2019 FMCS San Antonio Symposium to make it easier for students and young professionals to meet established professionals, have one-on-one conversations with them and learn about where they can contribute to FMCS and remain engaged with society over their careers.
For more information contact Megan Bradley (



FMCS 2019 Symposium schedule


Workers Needed

Looking to be more involved in FMCS? Here is your opportunity! The 2019 Symposium Planning Committee is looking for workers to help. If you are interested contact Susan Oetker ( or Daelynn Woolnough (



CLICK HERE TO BECOME A SPONSOR or contact FMCS Treasurer, Emily Grossman (

You want to make FMCS great again :) and make sure we don't bankrupt FMCS then show us the money! Sponsorships will be used to cover expenses and the specific levels are listed below, but unfortunately have been increased due to rising hotel fees. We understand grants and budgets aren't what they use to be but we need all the support you can provide and we appreciate any and all donations.
For more information contact Matt Johnson (

Basin >$10,000 Three Complimentary Registrations, Logo on Website Registration Page, Recognition in the Symposium Program and at the Banquet Dinner. Choice of up to three free t-shirts, hats or FMCS fleeces.
River >$5,000 - 9,999 Two Complimentary Registrations, Logo on Website Registration Page, Recognition in the Symposium Program
Stream $2,500 - $4,999

One Complimentary Registration, Logo on Website Registration Page and in the Symposium Program

Eddy $1000-$2,499 Logo on Website Registration Page and in the Symposium Program
Mussel <$999 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.




For more Information:
For further information about the Symposium, please contact the Symposium co-chairs:
Charles Randklev, 2019 Symposium Co-Chair (
Clint Robertson, 2019 Symposium Co-Chair (
Susan Oetker, 2019 Symposium Co-Chair (