Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Brook Floater Research and Conservation


July 2016 - September 2019


The Brook Floater (Alasmidonta varicosa) is a stream-dwelling freshwater mussel native to the Atlantic Slope of the United States and Canada that has experienced large population declines over the last 50 years and is at high risk of extinction. The species’ distribution has been restricted to approximately 50% of its historic sites, is listed as Threatened or Endangered by most states where it occurs, and has been petitioned for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act. Five states within the region were awarded a competitive State Wildlife Grant (SWG) to increase range-wide cooperative conservation efforts and strategic planning towards reducing further population losses, and defining approaches for recovery of A. varicosa. This project will focus on strategies for achieving conservation through multiple objectives: (1) Project partners will build upon findings from a recently completed range-wide status assessment. (2) Partners will develop a conservation working group that will help to develop initiate standardized surveys that will be conducted throughout partnering states to estimate abundances and predict occupancy of Brook Floater and associated SGCN mussels. (3) We will utilize Structured Decision Making approaches to focus monitoring design and conservation planning objectives at the state and regional scale. (4) We will coordinate the development of propagation methods and approaches for population restoration. (5) We will identify additional site-specific conservation actions to benefit A. varicosa and associated SGCN habitat.

Research Products and Activities


  • Roy, A.H., P.D. Hazelton, S. Sterrett, A. Doubleday, A. Fisk, L. Holst, M. Marchand, D. Perkins, M.D. Staudinger, B. Swartz, and B. Watson. 2017. What's next? Brook Floater rangewide conservation and restoration initiative. Northeast Freshwater Mussel Meeting, 7 March 2017, Hadley, MA.
  • Sterrett, S., P.D. Hazelton, A. Doubleday, D. Perkins, A.H. Roy, and M.D. Staudinger. 2017. Brook Floater rangewide conservation and restoration initiative. Meeting of the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society, 26-30 March 2017, Cleveland, OH.
  • Doubleday, A.J., P.D. Hazelton, A.H. Roy, A. Fisk, and D. Perkins. 2017. Local habitat effects on the abundance and distribution of Brook Floater (Alasmidonta varicosa) in Massachusetts. Meeting of the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society, 26-30 March 2017, Cleveland, OH.
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Current Staff

Federal Staff: 101

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 154

Post Docs: 55

University Staff: 241

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 695

Scientific Publications: 1962

Presentations: 4417



  • Allison RoyPrincipal Investigator
  • Peter HazeltonCo-Principal Investigator
  • David PerkinsCo-Principal Investigator
  • Michelle StaudingerCo-Principal Investigator
  • Andrew FiskCo-Principal Investigator
  • Sean SterrettStaff
  • Ayla SkorupaStudent
  • Deanna KenyonStudent
  • Samuel RomaniaStudent
  • Kate KeeryStudent
  • Annabelle RossiStudent

Funding Agencies

  • Massachusetts Environmental Trust
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey