Shell club awards grant to USF professor
The Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club’s board approved a $2,500 grant in late 2020 for Dr. Greg Herbert, with the University of South Florida. Preliminary data from surveys of mollusk populations taken from 300 sample stations in the eastern Gulf of Mexico suggests that the Florida fighting conch has lost as much as half of its former habitat. Herbert’s project will radiocarbon date some of the best preserved shells recovered from the deeper habitat of the Gulf’s outer shelf to determine how recently the habitat may have been lost. The data may help to determine the cause of the loss from sources such as pollution. The club awards grants from the proceeds of its annual Shell Show, which this year will be a Virtual Shell Show in March. Grants are given toward education and research in the fields of conchology and malacology, as well as for conservation and water quality projects, primarily in Southwest Florida. For more information, visit sanibelshellclub.com.