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Systematic revision of the crayfish genus Lacunicambarus
The goal of my Ph.D. dissertation is to investigate the crayfish genus Lacunicambarus using molecular systematics methods and morphometrics. The most iconic member of this complex is the Devil Crayfish, Lacunicambarus 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 one of the most widespread crayfishes 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 relatively small ranges and require differential conservation attention.
August 2018 update: My collaborators and I just published the first major findings of this taxonomic revision in the Journal of Crustacean Biology! We have made the following taxonomic changes: