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San-Cap Shell Club awards grants to USF students


BARBARA TIMKO From left, Karen Turner, Morgan Tomlin, Joe Timko, Nicole Seiden, Tom Annesley, Dr. Greg Herbert and Jamie Rogers at the Florida United Malacologists Conference held in February.

The Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club awarded two University of South Florida graduates over $6,800 in separate grants in late 2019.

Nicole Seiden received $2,462 to study the life history traits of the Florida horse conch to determine how rapidly they reach reproductive maturity, and how long they live and reproduce. Populations of the conchs in West Florida are declining and the study will help determine what level of commercial harvest is sustainable.

Jamie Rogers received $4,400 to conduct a comparison study of modern versus historic oysters to determine how they have changed over the last 200 years. Tampa Bay has lost approximately 90 percent of its oyster reefs since the early 1900’s, and the study will assist with efforts to restore the reefs by providing answers to gaps in the current understanding of oyster biology.

The club awards grants from the proceeds of its annual Shell Show. They are given in the fields of conchology and malacology, as well as conservation and water quality, primarily in Southwest Florida.

For more information, visit sanibelshellclub.com.