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Systematic revision of the devil crayfish (Cambarus diogenes) species
The goal of my Ph.D. dissertation is to investigate the devil crayfish (Cambarus diogenes) species complex using molecular systematics methods and morphometrics. The most iconic member of this complex is the devil crayfish, Cambarus diogenes (Girard 1852). Historically, all burrowing crayfishes that resembled the devil crayfish have been labeled as such. This lack of taxonomic resolution has led to the devil crayfish sensu lato being the most widespread crayfish in North America. However, it has long been suspected that the devil crayfish represents a species complex and in recent years, a handful of species have been described from within this complex. Further teasing apart the devil crayfish complex is important because some of the species within it may have actually have small ranges and require differential conservation attention.
March 2018 update: My collaborators and I have made great progress this year and we are close to submitting our preliminary findings on this group. Next week, I'll be heading to Washington, D.C. to collect what I will designate as the neotype-series for the devil crayfish sensu stricto. I will present this work in June at the Society of Systematic Biologists conference in Columbus, Ohio and in July at the International Association of Astacology conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.