Longwood University Biology majors, David Conner (17’) and Connor Perry (19’) spent an entire summer exploring the Upper Appomattox River basin sampling nearly 50 locations to catalog the diversity and distribution of freshwater crayfish. Dr. Sujan Henkanaththegedara, Associate Professor of Biology, led this study and their publication is the first peer-reviewed publication on diversity and distribution of freshwater crayfish in Virginia. This study also led to discovering two crayfish species new to science. Their publication is freely available for anyone interested in learning more about freshwater crayfish in Central Virginia.
Conner and Perry completed this research project in 2016 as Longwood PRISM scholars and presented their findings at several regional and national conferences. Currently, Conner works as a Hazardous Waste Supervisor at Naval Facilities Engineering Systems in Texas and Perry is finishing his Ph.D. in Emerging Infectious Diseases at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Maryland.
Perry added, “Although I study COVID 19 virus now, my experience of conducting research with freshwater crayfish has benefited me greatly in my career as a junior scientist.”